Health ministry gets shot-in-the-arm
The immunisation, mental health, environmental health, and infection-control programmes of the Ministry of Health received a boost on Wednesday, with supplies valued at US$103,000 (J$12.26 million) from the Pan American Health Organization/-World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO).
The items include several computers, vaccine refrigerators, printers, hand sanitisers, hand-sanitiser dispensers, and organic vapour monitors valued at US$77,400 (J$9.2 million). Information, education, and communications material such as child-health development passports, immunisation flyers, polio posters and polio-prevention posters worth US$25,768 (J$3.1 million) were also among the supplies.
In his address at the handover ceremony, held on December 16 at the PAHO office at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, Minister of Health Horace Dalley thanked PAHO for its unstinting support of the country's health sector.
"We can count on PAHO/WHO. This partnership has been long-standing and will become even stronger," he said.
Dalley said that the ministry was in dialogue with PAHO/WHO to provide training for hospital personnel.
"Unless we train our people to the point where they become change agents in delivering health care, then all that we do will come to nought," the minister said.
Permanent Secretary in the ministry Dr Kevin Harvey said that the organisation had made invaluable contributions to Jamaica's health sector over the years.
"When you look at what we pay to PAHO, which is under US$100,000 per year, and what we get back in terms of technical assistance, goods, and services, and the partnership and support that we have had, which is valued at over US$1,000,000, there cannot be any better return," he said.
PAHO is the leading international public-health agency that provides technical cooperation to member states and mobilises partnerships to improve health and quality of life.