Maternal healthcare to get significant boost with emergency facilities
Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Construction of High Dependency Units at Bustamante Hospital for Children, Victoria Jubilee and Cornwall Regional Hospitals.
The Bustamante Hospital for Children, Cornwall Regional and Victoria Jubilee Hospitals have been earmarked for the construction of High Dependency Units (HDUs) to facilitate emergency obstetric care.
Speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony at the Bustamante Hospital for Children on Wednesday, Dr Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health said the impending construction will enable progress towards improving the maternal health care system in Jamaica and protecting the well-being of pregnant women and infants who need critical care.
“These HDUs help to afford mothers and newborns with life-threatening injuries and illnesses, including severe infections, the best chance at a positive health outcome".
A HDU provides an intermediate level of care between that which is available on a general ward and that in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Mothers and neonates with life-threatening injuries, illnesses including severe infections will benefit.
The establishment of the High Dependency Units comes as part of the European Union’s 22-million EURO funded Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC), which was instituted to combat infant and maternal mortality through quality reproductive healthcare and enhanced training of health professionals.
Highlighting the mandate of PROMAC as one that is aligned with helping Jamaica to meet its 2030 health targets of reducing neonatal and maternal mortality, Her Excellency Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica, noted that while there has been steady progress, more work is still required to achieve prescribed targets.
“Pregnancy and childbirth are precious experiences in the life of women and families. The EU is committed to working together with the Government of Jamaica to ensure that all women whether they are in the urban or rural areas enjoy the same access to good quality care and same opportunity to enjoy safe motherhood. It is their right and when it comes to human rights you will find no greater advocate than the EU”, shared Ambassador Wasilewska.
Upon completion, there will be a total of five High Dependency Units to include Spanish Town and St. Ann’s Bay Hospitals, which are now undergoing construction.