Wednesday 23 September, 2020

NHF donates $45 million to health-care research

NHF Board member Duke Holness said the Government agency was keen on removing obstacles to health care. 

NHF Board member Duke Holness said the Government agency was keen on removing obstacles to health care. 

The National Health Fund (NHF) has provided over $45 million in funding for the research and publication of the third Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey (JHLS).

In his address at the JHLS National Dissemination Meeting on Thursday, at the Mona Visitor’s Lodge, UWI Mona, NHF Board member Duke Holness said the Government agency was keen on removing obstacles to health care.  With this in mind, he said the results of such health surveys would assist in developing effective policies to respond to the present and emerging needs of the health sector.

“Health policies and practices must be grounded in the best scientific knowledge. They must be based on the evidence and the realities of the individuals affected. It was for this reason that we were able to provide funding to the tune of $45.48 million towards this survey and its publication.  However, the data which has been gathered is invaluable,” said Holness.

Through its Institutional Benefits arm, which provides assistance in the form of grants to private and public sector organisations, the NHF has made contributions totalling nearly $13 billion for projects, over the 15 years since the Fund has been established.

“In the last fiscal year we approved 44 projects valued at $1.79 billion and of this amount $28 million was approved for health promotion and $54 million for research,” said Mr. Holness.

The Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Surveys provide up-to-date estimates of Jamaica’s health status on leading public health issues.  This year’s findings indicate that one in three Jamaicans are affected by hypertension; one in two are overweight; while one in eight have diabetes. 

“As evidenced by the growing number of persons applying for the NHF and JADEP cards which cover selected NCDs, this epidemic is not slowing down in Jamaica. At end of August, 2018 there were 387,519 active cardholders,” Holness disclosed.

The third Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey was conducted by the Caribbean Institute for Health Research (CAIHR), University of the West Indies, Mona and the Ministry of Health.

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