Thursday 20 September, 2018

St Ann's Bay Hospital to improve care to high risk mothers, newborns

(From left) Dr Wayne Henry, Director General, Planning Institute of Jamaica; Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, Head of the European Union Delegation to Jamaica; Health Minister Dr  Christopher Tufton; Guy Sevrin, Belgian Ambassador to Jamaica; Jean-Michel Despax, French Ambassador to Jamaica; and Don Mullings, Managing Director, M & M Jamaica Limited at the groundbreaking ceremony.

(From left) Dr Wayne Henry, Director General, Planning Institute of Jamaica; Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, Head of the European Union Delegation to Jamaica; Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton; Guy Sevrin, Belgian Ambassador to Jamaica; Jean-Michel Despax, French Ambassador to Jamaica; and Don Mullings, Managing Director, M & M Jamaica Limited at the groundbreaking ceremony.

The Ministry of Health and the European Union (EU) recently broke ground for the construction of two high dependency units (HDUs) at the St Ann’s Bay Hospital, as part of ongoing efforts to improve maternal and child health outcomes in Jamaica.

The contract for the HDUs has been awarded to M&M Construction for completion within 12 months, under the Ministry’s Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC), funded by the EU to the tune of Euro 22 million.

Head of the EU delegation to Jamaica Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska said in her address on May 17 that the occasion was an “important step in the journey we have been on through PROMAC”.

“It is a comprehensive collaboration between the EU and Jamaica, with the primary aim of improving the health care for mother and child,” she added.

Wasilewska also said that despite the great progress that Jamaica has made in reducing maternal and child deaths over the years, challenges remain, which are being addressed together.

It is against this background that PROMAC was developed to:

- Improve newborn and emergency obstetric care in 9 newly established HDUs in 5 hospitals across Jamaica;

- Improve primary health care services for high-risk pregnancies; and

- Enhance clinical knowledge and skills of health professionals.

 

Among the achievements under the programme to date are:

- The award of 51 scholarships in the Doctor of Medicine Programme in Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and Anaesthesiology;

- The award of scholarships for short course in Ventilation and Obstetric Ultrasound, under the contract with the University of the West Indies; 

- The training of 10 fellows in Maternal-Foetal Medicine, Critical Care and Neonatology;

- The training of 50 nurses in critical care and 23 in post-basic midwifery;

- The training of primary health care workers in Neonatal Resuscitation, Obstetrics Care and Customer Service; and

- The training of 25 Dietitians and Nutritionist in neonatal nutrition.

Minister of Health Christopher Tufton has lauded the milestones so far.

“It is testament to the work of our dynamic team of professionals, marshalled by the Ministry of Health; our international partner the European Union, who has been a most excellent collaborator; and the Planning Institute of Jamaica, which has overall responsibility for the management and administration of all official development assistance, including from the EU,” he noted.

Added Tufton: “Training done in the various areas so far will enable the effective operation of the HDUs, which require competent staff, toward a more effective health care system that serves well the needs of mothers and their children.”

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