Sun | Oct 21, 2018

Shipping Industry 5K seeks support for mobile clinic

Published:Tuesday | June 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Shipping Association of Jamaica employees and medical staff tend to a patient in the Association’s Mobile Clinic.

It's a crisp morning in May and a line of children and adults meanders across the grounds of the New Providence Basic School in Papine, St Andrew, waiting to climb the steps of the massive 40-foot shipping container that has been retrofitted into a fully equipped medical facility on wheels. Emblazoned on the sides of the unit is the Shipping Association of Jamaica's (SAJ's) logo, and inside, they will be able to access much-needed health-care services free of charge.

This mobile clinic is a critical arm of the outreach services the SAJ provides along with its Rotary Club partners and is valued at several million dollars as it is equipped with, among other things, offices for a doctor, nurse, and medical technicians, as well as a bathroom and waiting areas and various medical supplies. The unit is air-conditioned and is outfitted with its own back-up power supply and water tank. The SAJ provides full upkeep of the unit. SAJ members contribute road haulage of the unit during its tour of communities across Jamaica.

The unit has been stationed periodically in schools and churches across the country for more than a decade. This is part of the SAJ's stated mission to provide critical health services to those who might not otherwise be able to afford it to increase the awareness of Jamaicans for the need to adopt healthy lifestyles and preventive approaches to personal health care and to support medical facilities in serving patients.

In October 31, 2012, the SAJ's mobile clinic served as an outpatient facility after the Annatto Bay Hospital was extensively damaged by Hurricane Sandy, serving surgical, medical, psychiatric, gynaecological, as well as paediatric patients.

The year prior, the SAJ took the clinic to the Caribbean Maritime Institute, one of many educational institutions that the association has assisted with medical services.

Additionally, residents of communities near to the shipping district of New Port West have continuously benefited from regular free clinics in their areas where they are seen by doctors and nurses and provided with medication. Services offered include eye screening, blood-sugar testing, cholesterol testing, ECG, blood-pressure checks, and general check-ups by volunteer doctors.


clinic's special high point

The SAJ has dedicated part proceeds of anything earned in its upcoming Shipping Industry 5K Road Race to assisting the operations of this unique facility. The race, which takes place in the New Port West shipping district on June 27, is intended to raise money to assist in offering the services of the clinic to those in need.

"We encourage all who haven't yet done so to join us in this noble effort by registering to participate in the sporting event," said Raymond Ernandez, SAJ's financial controller. "We believe in serving our communities in any way we can, and have enlisted the sponsorship of several partners within and outside of the maritime sector who share this belief. We are grateful for their support and invite everyone to run, walk, or push their strollers in what we expect to be a fantastic event for charity," he added.

Interested participants can visit for race details and to register for the Shipping Industry 5K Road Race.