Sat | Sep 22, 2018

NHF provides multimillion-dollar funding for Health and Lifestyle research

Published:Monday | September 10, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Duke Holness (left), board member, National Health Fund, greets Dr Christopher Tufton (right), minister of health, while Professor Ian Boxhill, deputy principal, University of the West Indies, Mona campus, looks on. They were at the third Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey National Dissemination Meeting, held at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge Conference Centre, UWI Mona campus, on Thursday, September 6. The National Health Fund provided funding in the sum of $45.48 million towards the survey and publication.

The National Health Fund (NHF) has provided over $45 million in funding for the research and publication of the third Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey (JHLS).

In his address at the JHLS National Dissemination Meeting on Thursday, September 6, at the Mona Visitors' Lodge, UWI, Mona, NHF board member Duke Holness said the government agency was keen on removing obstacles to healthcare. With this in mind, he said the results of such health surveys would assist in developing effective policies to respond to the present and emerging needs of the health sector.

"Health policies and practices must be grounded in the best scientific knowledge. They must be based on the evidence and the realities of the individuals affected. It was for this reason that we were able to provide funding to the tune of $45.48 million towards this survey and its publication. However, the data which have been gathered is invaluable," said Holness.

Through its institutional benefits arm, which provides assistance in the form of grants to private- and public-sector organisations, the NHF has made contributions totalling nearly $13 billion for projects over the 15 years since the fund has been established.

"In the last fiscal year, we approved 44 projects valued at $1.79 billion and of this amount, $28 million was approved for health promotion and $54 million for research," said Holness.

 

Public health issues.

 

The Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Surveys provide up-to-date estimates of Jamaica's health status on leading public health issues. This year's findings indicate that one in three Jamaicans is affected by hypertension; one in two is overweight; while one in eight has diabetes.

"As evidenced by the growing number of persons applying for the NHF and JADEP cards, which cover selected NCDs, this epidemic is not slowing down in Jamaica. At end of August 2018, there were 387,519 active cardholders," Holness disclosed.

The third Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey was conducted by the Caribbean Institute for Health Research, University of the West Indies, Mona, and the Ministry of Health.