Enfield Health Centre benefits from ‘Adopt - A- Clinic’ initiative
The Enfield Health Centre in South East St Mary is to get a new lease on life, having been taken over under the Ministry of Health's Adopt-A-Clinic initiative.
The almost 40-year-old facility will see improvements, including the repair of the ceiling, treatment for termite infestation, painting of exterior and erection of perimeter fencing after the clinic was adopted by a group of Jamaicans living in the United Kingdom.
In a fundraising drive across the UK, the JA55 Charities Group raised an initial J$1,000,000 to go towards work on the health centre, which last year saw 1,700 visits from a community with 2,400 residents.
At an official unveiling and announcement ceremony at the health centre last Thursday, Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton said that the adoption of the Enfield Health Centre is giving birth to an initiative that is important to community development and preventive healthcare.
"A lot of times when we talk about healthcare, we talk about hospitals and overlook the importance and contribution of community healthcare like this clinic to the people that live in and around the facility. We have to stop that because the health of our country starts at primary health care," said Tufton.
The Enfield Health Centre is a type 2 clinic located within the Annotto Bay Health District and is one of the three largest health areas in the parish.
The facility is manned by a resident midwife and two community health aides with assistance from a visiting clinician, public health nurse, registered nurse and attendants.
It provides maternal and child health services such as antenatal, postnatal, child health and immunisation, family planning, cervical cancer screening and nutrition advice.
"The reality is that public health cannot just be about government. There are many people from the community and elsewhere, corporate and the diaspora who want to give back to their communities and have been giving back to their communities, and that is how Adopt-a-Clinic was born. It is an appeal to community stakeholder participation to give back to public health in a way that enhances the health and wellness of the community," Tufton said.
The Enfield Health Centre is among five clinics across rural Jamaica that have been adopted by the diaspora group.
The others are the Elderslie Health Centre in St Elizabeth, Cascade Health Centre in Hanover, Mount Pleasant Health Centre in Portland, and Lambs River Health Centre in Westmoreland. Adopt-A-Clinic was launched last November to encourage Jamaicans, the Jamaican diaspora and other friends of Jamaica to 'adopt' a clinic in communities with which they are familiar or elsewhere in Jamaica, at their option.