Mon | Dec 11, 2023

Nine upgraded health facilities officially handed over to MOH

Published:Friday | January 28, 2022 | 2:21 PM
Guided by Garfield Wood from design and inspection firm GW Architects (right), Ian Stein, PAHO/WHO Representative in Jamaica (left), Minister of Health & Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, Minister of State, Ministry of Finance & the Public Services and Member of Parliament, North East St Ann, Marsha Smith, and Her Excellency Judith Slater, British High Commissioner to Jamaica, tour the St Ann’s Bay Smart Health Centre in St Ann as part of the official handover ceremony on January 27, 2022 – Contributed photo.

The nine health facilities that were retrofitted under the Strengthening Health Care Facilities in the Caribbean Project were officially handed over to the Ministry of Health and Wellness on Thursday.

The upgraded facilities, which were completed in 2021, are the St Ann's Bay, Albert Town, Darliston, Gayle, Norman Gardens, Windward Road, Yallahs, Sydenham and Cumberland Road health centres.

The £46.3m project is currently being implemented in seven countries: Dominica, St Lucia, Grenada, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, Belize, Guyana and Jamaica.

The project is funded by UKaid through its Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in the Caribbean and implemented by PAHO in close collaboration with the Ministries of Health of the selected countries.

The nine healthcare facilities in Jamaica were retrofitted to become safer, greener, and more resilient to natural disasters and climate change.

A total of 12 facilities will be upgraded in Jamaica under the project. 

The other health facilities to be retrofitted include Port Antonio Health Centre (expected to finish in February 2022), Santa Cruz Health Centre (expected to finish in Q3 2022) and Mandeville Health Centre, which is expected to start in February and finish in Q4 2022.

Ian Stein, PAHO/WHO Representative in Jamaica, stated, “Since 2016, PAHO/WHO has been implementing this UKaid project in Jamaica in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Wellness, which reinforces that sustainability of health facilities must be enhanced to ensure continued service delivery immediately after the impact of hazards, such as hurricanes, when communities need healthcare most.”

“Our UK grant is instrumental in supporting Jamaica's efforts to reduce disaster vulnerability of vital public buildings and boost its climate resilience. It has also provided a helpful platform for risk reduction planning within the health sector. COVID -19 has further highlighted the importance of disaster preparedness and contingency measures at health facilities for staff and patients,” said British High Commissioner to Jamaica, Judith Slater.

For his part, Health and Wellness Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, stated the programme is much welcomed as the public health system continues to adjust and respond to the changing health profile and needs of the population.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to bear in a most significant way, the need for the vulnerable among us to protect themselves from diseases and ailments and for persons to take the necessary preventive steps to guard against becoming vulnerable.”

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