Preparatory work to begin at the Cumberland Health Centre today
Preparatory work for the repair and beautification of the Cumberland Health Centre in St Catherine will begin today.
The health centre is one of two national Labour Day projects that will receive focus on Labour Day, May 23, which will be observed under the theme 'Ramp it up ... Fix it up'.
The other project is the St Ann's Bay Infant School in St Ann. This year's Labour Day activities are centred on health and education.
Work on the health centre will include renovations to the bathrooms and waiting rooms and the general cleaning and beautification of areas surrounding the building.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange said the national project "will certainly underscore the importance of improving health centres across the island".
Grange also mentioned the health ministry's Adopt a Clinic initiative, which seeks to improve the ambience, appearance and availability of equipment at the 320 health centres across the island.
She said some of the centres have been prioritised for adoption by Jamaicans at home and in the diaspora.
"The Ministry of Health has an intense Adopt a Clinic programme, and they specially target the diaspora, where they are trying to get Jamaicans overseas to partner with the ministry in adopting health centres in Jamaica," she said.
PROVIDING VITAL HEALTHCARE
Grange said that the Government is committed to ensuring that the facilities are equipped and in good condition so as "to ensure that our pregnant mothers, our children and our elderly are provided with vital healthcare service because they are most vulnerable".
Meanwhile, Medical Officer of Health for the St Catherine Health Department Dr Pauline Weir said the health centre, which serves more than 12 districts, is small.
In 2017, more than 12,500 patients visited the facility, which offers maternal and child healthcare (ante- and post-natal), family planning and curative clinics on Wednesdays and Fridays.
"It's a big area and some are tightly populated, and in all the areas we have people who are very poor and need our services desperately," she said.
According to Weir, the facility began as a maternal and Type 1 health centre but had to expand because of the varying health needs.