Two infant ventilators, valued at more than $2 million, were officially donated to the paediatric ward of the St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital on November 12 by the Issa Trust Foundation. The foundation's donation is a significant upgrade to the manual technique being used by the facility, called bag-mask ventilation.
Ventilators are machines used to provide breathing support for ill or premature babies, as often they are too weak to breathe properly on their own. Twelve boxes of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies were also presented to the facility.
Dr Coralie Antoine, paediatric consultant at the facility, thanked the Issa Trust Foundation.
"We frequently manage extremely premature infants, and very ill infants, with various respiratory conditions, who require ventilatory support.
"In the past, we have had to rely on the availability of ventilators at Type-A hospitals necessitating the transport of unstable infants under less than ideal conditions. With these ventilators, we will be able to better manage our newborns on site. This donation will go a long way in improving our perinatal and infant morbidity and mortality rates and will reduce the need for transport of these ill infants to other facilities," said Antoine.
Eleven nurses and five doctors from the facility also benefited from hands-on training in the use of the special equipment. Training encompassed a myriad of topics which include the care of intubated neonatal patients, revision of the components of the baby-log ventilator and bag-mask ventilation, among other key topics.
Training facilitators Cheryl Dominick and Christine Franciscovich, who are volunteers from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, have been visiting the island for over five years to assist in the foundation's mission.
Diane Pollard, chief executive officer of Issa Trust Foundation, said, "Through our partnerships, our goal is to provide more kids and their families with what they need the most, their health, so that we can satisfy their boundless hopes and dreams of a healthy future."
The Issa Trust Foundation was established by Couples Resorts and has been involved in the enhancement of paediatric health care in northeast Jamaica since January 2005.
- Source: North East Regional Health Authority