Wed | Jul 18, 2018

VJH receives $3M equipment to help save pregnant mothers and babies

Published:Wednesday | July 4, 2018 | 12:10 AMCarlene Davis/Gleaner Writer
Elder Richard Stewart (right) and his wife Sister Dedorah Stewart (second right) handing over medical equipment to ,from left, Valrie Gray, deputy CEO of Kingston Public Hospital and Victoria Jubilee Hospital (VJH); Dr. Leroy Campbell, consultant obstetrican/gynaecologist of VJH; Elise Fairweather Blackwood, director of nursing services; and Dr. Orville Morgan, senior medical officer (VJH) at the presentation of equipment donated by Latter-Day Saints Charities at VJH yesterday.

The materno fetal medicine unit of the Victoria Jubilee Hospital (VJH), which caters to pregnant women who have conditions that increase the risk of death to them and their babies, yesterday received medical supplies and equipment valued at over $3M. The equipment will assist with more efficient management of patients in the unit.

Dr Leroy Campbell, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at VJH, said that maternal death rate has increased in Jamaica. He pointed to the proliferation of chronic diseases as a major contributor to the increase, and recommended that Jamaica improved its services to deal adequately with women who have chronic diseases.

“We are seeing types of cases in our pregnant population where previously we would have only seen in women of advanced age," reported Campbell. "Many of our women who were dying from complications such as hemorrhage 20 years ago, are now finding themselves having complications related to chronic non-communicable diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, congestive heart failure and renal failure,” he added.

Among the equipment donated were fetal monitors, maternal heart monitors in the form of ECG (electrocardiogram) machines, infusion pumps and intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) devices.

Campbell outlined that the equipment needed to cater to the women who come to the unit was costly to procure and he thanked the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its donation. He issued a warning to women to plan for pregnancies and implored them to take care of their bodies, before and after pregnancy.

“The best gift that you can give to your baby is you. We must recognise that pregnancy should be planned," Campbell said. "It is not something that should just happen. A woman should ensure that she has appropriate contraception, suitable for her. She must ensure that she maintains that contraception until she is in the best physical shape to be in the demands of pregnancy,” he added.

carlene.davis@gleanerjm.com