Tue | Dec 6, 2016

One Love, One Heart programme to arrest cardiac problems

Published:Wednesday | January 21, 2015 | 12:00 AM

In response to a seeming rise in incidents of sudden cardiac death in high school-aged athletes, Jamaicans Abroad Helping Jamaicans At Home Foundation (JAH JAH) has partnered with Team Jamaica Bickle (TBJ), the Inter-Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA) and Jamaica International Female Football Development (JIFFD) to launch the One Love, One Heart programme.

One Love, One Heart is an ongoing screening, monitoring and education programme for male and female student athletes across the island.

The One Love, One Heart programme is part of JAH JAH Foundation's annual mission trip - Mission for Change 2015 - and brings together sports and medical-volunteer organisations from the United States and Jamaica.

"We are excited about being at the forefront of this initiative. This is exactly the type of work that Team Jamaica Bickle is committed to - programmes that promote healthy lifestyles," said TJB's CEO, Irwin Clare.

Team Jamaica Bickle is a non-profit organisation that provides assistance for fledgling Jamaican athletes and their coaches to participate in the Penn Relays.

Under the theme 'Promoting Health Lifestyles', TJB launched a series of 5K's in New York and Fort Lauderdale to sensitise the community on the importance of wellness. Over the years, TJB has received several proclamations and awards from local and national entities, and continues to serve, as well as facilitate groups in Jamaica, helping to coordinate athletes' participation along with individual schools and ISSA.

Workshops

The JIFFD, a South Florida-based organisation providing programmes for sports, education, health, and social development for young females in Jamaica and across its diaspora, is also a programme partner.

The JIFFD is coordinating the programme's workshops on nutrition, presented by Patricia Fletcher, registered nutritionist, corporate wellness and lifestyle consultant, and Patricia Thompson, certified sports nutritionist and school-nutrition specialist.

"Four schools have been targeted as a pilot for the One Love, One Heart programme. Our team of medical volunteers will provide echocardiograms to the athletes to collect baseline data and assess the health of their heart and their general health. We will also provide ongoing education and monitoring to prevent fatalities. In some of the cases, young people have very little indications that something is wrong," said Dr Trevor Dixon, emergency physician and founder of JAH JAH Foundation.

"Through screening, monitoring and education, we can inform young athletes and their families on ways to take care of themselves while training and competing," Dixon added.

A CPR training presentation will also be provided to students and coaches, so they can better handle cases of emergencies.

JAH JAH Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation committed to sharing ideas, technology, tools, and resources with public hospitals and schools in Jamaica. They partner with individuals and groups across the globe to organise teams for mission trips to serve the poor in Jamaica. For more information visit www.jahjahfoundation.org.