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Adopt-a-Clinic-Programme Needs Your Help | York Town clinic operates, but there are many challenges

Published:Tuesday | April 9, 2019 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell-LivingstonGleaner Writer
A view from inside the clinic area.

The York Town Clinic located in South West Clarendon, the bordering communities of Four Path, Osbourne Store and Gimmi-mi-bit, is faced with many challenges.

It is one of the 100 primary healthcare facilities which the Ministry of Health would like to transform under its Adopt-a-Clinic Programme launched two years ago.

Nurse Sheffaneese Knight is hoping there will be support from Jamaica or its diaspora and is hoping it too will be adopted. Knight, who spends her working hours between Milk River, York Town and Race Course clinics, said in spite of its many shortcomings staffers give one hundred per cent in service to ensure the needs of the patients are met.

York Town Health Centre is a type one health facility which mainly offers maternal and child health services. These include ante natal, post natal and family planning services as well as complete assessment and immunisation of children up to six years and older children as necessary.



Other services such as simple dressings, blood pressure and blood sugar checks are also offered. The vector control team for the parish is also based at the health centre. There is no curative service at the clinic and patients must make the trek to the already overcrowded May Pen Health Centre.



Among the communities that the clinic caters to are Rhymebury and Gravel Hill, but often it sees residents from Havanna Heights and Foga Road who opt to be served at the centre.

Knight, who is the visiting public health nurse whose base is at Milk River, gives support to the registered midwife who is based at the facility. With her hours divided, the clinic service is offered every other week, although its doors are opened everyday to the public for minor service. Family planning is also available to residents.



During the days, staff at the clinic also do home visits in the community, ‘checking up’ on patients, including children, young mothers, persons with chronic diseases – basically checking on the welfare of the community on a whole.


“We need a lot more chairs for the clinic as we don’t have enough to seat patients. It’s even worse when we double up on the day after a holiday,” shared Knight, pointing out that now there are 11 board benches at the clinic, but only seven are in good condition.

Among the more urgent needs of the clinic are medical equipment and furniture, proper emergency trolley among other things.

Presently, the orderlies at the clinic manually wash the linen used at the clinic in a tub with nurse Knight making the plea for a washing machine to be made available to them.

The scale that is in use is a “balance beam” one and according to Nurse Knight she would love to see it being upgraded to the more modern ones. There is also not proper lounge area for the staff to take a break and have their meals.



Nurse thankful for help

For all the woes, Nurse Sheffaneese Knight is grateful and thankful to the help that comes their way from time to time, including Flow Foundation, singling them out for a Labour Day project that gave the clinic a much needed facelift.

Knight said she is hoping that the feature will bring about the reaction she is seeking and that is to have an organization investing in it. She knows the day will come when the clinic can improve its present staff complement of six – a visiting public health nurse, midwife, three community health aids and female orderly – to offer more service to the community by also adding curative and dental services to its roster.