Ambulances for six health care facilities
Thousands of pregnant women will soon have one less thing to worry about as the Ministry of Health will receive six ambulances to transport expectant mothers between health centres and hospitals in cases of emergencies.
The gift was purchased under the European Union-funded project, Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC), at a cost of €631,162.
The ambulances will be deployed to four primary health care centres and two community hospitals: Mandeville, St. Jago Park, Annotto Bay and Savanna-la-Mar Health Centres, Chapelton, and the Alexandria Community Hospitals.
The ambulances are furnished with state of the art equipment and medical and other relevant personnel have been trained to operate the units. Minister of Health, Dr Christopher Tufton said “these ambulances will increase our ability to provide better access to vital maternal and infant health care. The Government views access to health care as an inherent right to every single Jamaican. We operate within a tight fiscal framework and sometimes that limits the resources we are able to provide.”
The Minister added that “often it is the most vulnerable among us who are affected. I welcome the contribution of our bi-lateral partners, and in this particular case, the European Union. Their presence in Jamaica continues to assist with the development of our people and infrastructure.”
According to Malgorzata Wasilewska, Head of Delegation, European Union Jamaica, “These ambulances will help women to get emergency medical care that can make the difference between life and death for mother and child”.
Ambassador Wasilewska added that, “Having access to timely, high quality care in a comfortable environment will ensure that women in rural communities are able to access the same quality care as those in urban areas like Kingston and St. Andrew."
A formal handing over ceremony is set to take place on Thursday, April 20, at the Clarendon Health Department, Old May Pen Hospital building in Denbigh, Clarendon. The ceremony is set to commence at 2 pm, and Tufton is set to deliver the keynote address.
The event, which will also have an outreach type component, targeting mainly pregnant and post-natal mothers from Clarendon, is expected to be attended by other distinguished guests, including Ambassadors of the European Union member countries and representatives of the political directorate, Planning Institute of Jamaica, the Ministry of Health and the Regional Health Authorities.
The handover ceremony, which will also have a live radio broadcast, is expected to involve approximately 150 key stakeholders, including representatives from civil society as well as the communities and health facilities where the ambulances will provide services.