Local health sector gets boost from 82 PROMAC trained health professionals
The local health sector has received a much-needed boost as Jamaica's maternal and neonatal services will improve with an additional cohort of trained professionals.
A total of 82 health-care personnel have completed specialised training in maternal and infant care and management under the training component of the Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC).
Head of the European Union (EU) delegation in Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, has lauded the PROMAC project, funded by the EU and supported by the Government of Jamaica.
According to the ambassador, "through PROMAC, strategies are being put in place to strengthen the health system, improve infrastructure, provide access to equipment, build the capacity of health workers and increase awareness of maternal and child health issues, including personal responsibility."
During the ceremony in recognition of their achievements, it was revealed that an estimated $186 million had been spent to date on health professional training initiatives under PROMAC, which has the specific objectives of reducing the incidence of neonatal and maternal deaths; improving the quality of management of high-risk pregnancies; and enhancing public awareness and understanding of health-care processes and patients' rights.
Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton, who also spoke at the event, said the training of health- care professionals was critical in terms of ensuring that they are both fully equipped to perform their tasks, and also that they are kept abreast of evolving trends and international best practices.
He also noted that "so far, 51 specialist nurses and physicians have benefited from postgraduate training through the University of the West Indies".
PROMAC was created out of a discussion on the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 relating to reductions in the maternal and child mortality rates. After a midterm review of the 10th European Union Development Fund, Jamaica was allocated 22 million by the European Union to support the achievement of MDGs 4 and 5.
The EU financing agreement to effect the implementation of PROMAC was signed in Brussels on July 19, 2013, and in Kingston on November 21, 2013.