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May Pen paediatric ward gets refurbished learning centre

Published:Thursday | November 5, 2015 | 11:00 AM

MAY PEN, Clarendon:

Children at the May Pen Hospital's paediatric ward now have a newly refurbished learning centre and playroom. It will also facilitate Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) studies for the older children on the ward.

The centre was refurbished by telecommunications giant Flow Foundation at a cost of $1.2 million and was officially handed over to the hospital's administrators last week.

According to CEO of the hospital, Leon Dixon, the centre will be used to facilitate GSAT lessons and examinations with a teacher being assigned there as a hospital initiative.

Dixon pointed out that children who, through sickness, have been thrown off their school routine, can now have the chance to get it back on track as not only will their recreational needs be filled, but their educational needs will be catered to as well.

Errol Miller, executive chairman of Flow Foundation, said the hand over was timely, as it was done on the company's missions day, with companies across the Caribbean engaged in outreach that same day.

"We have an obligation to give back to society," he said, pointing out that "learning doesn't stop just because you are in hospital. The child still need to be guided continuously".

For Miller, the foundation's involvement is not about promoting the company's image as it has been involved in health, education and sports for some time. The foundation, in the past, has given similar assistance to Bustamante Hospital for Children, the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, and the University Hospital of the West Indies.

The learning centre comes equipped with air conditioner, desks, books, a television set, among other things.

Carlton Bailey, vice-chairman for the Southern Regional Health Authority board, welcomed the move, pointing out that it was good that a corporate entity has reached out in the midst of health facilities "taking a battering" (referring to the dead-babies scandal).

"Kids are our future. We have been taking a battering recently. Thank you for putting things in place that children's lives can be enhanced," he said, adding that they are looking forward to even more help.

rural@gleanerjm.com