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Princess Margaret Hospital gets equipment

Published:Friday | October 23, 2015 | 12:00 AMJolyn Bryan

MORANT BAY, St Thomas:

The Princess Margaret Hospital in St Thomas was last Wednesday the recipient of several pieces of medical equipment, donated by the United States-based Friends of Eastern St Thomas, a charity organisation concerned with improving the quality of health and education in the parish.

The equipment, valued at approximately US$5,000, includes a vital signs machine used to monitor blood pressure, pulse and temperature, four foetal dopplers for monitoring a foetus' heartbeat in utero, an automatic external defibrillator and an institutional-type defibrillator for the resuscitation of patients who have suffered cardiac distress.

Claudette Powell, chairperson of the Jamaican Diaspora Health Sector and board member of Friends of Eastern St Thomas, in making the presentation, highlighted that she was impressed with the quality of staff in the health sector in Jamaica, and also with the availability of the Ministry of Health for consultation with various charity groups.

"While we know that there are many areas for improvement, the health sector in Jamaica has never been better. I want to assure you that the diaspora has been very involved in improving health care, and we pledge that we will continue to work with Minister Fenton Ferguson to confront the challenges that we face," she said.

Powell also revealed that Guyana-Jamaica Friendship Association, another charitable organisation in the region, had contributed one of the defibrillators to the hospital.

Friends of Eastern St Thomas was established in 1992 by current President Dr Millicent Comrie. The group has made previous donations to the health sector in St Thomas as well as sponsoring needy and deserving students.

Ferguson, in a short address, highlighted that steps were being made to strengthen ties with the diaspora to allow for continued improvement of the health sector through charitable donations.

He also highlighted that medical missions from the diaspora had saved the country millions in manpower, pharmaceutical, medical and equipment costs.