Health (21)

Cuba lends a Helping Hand with COVID 19


The head of the 148-strong Cuban medical team that arrived here two weeks ago to help with Jamaica's novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) fight, wants Jamaicans to believe in the contingent that he says will do its best to give this nation's citizens the finest-possible medical care.

General practitioner Dr Eduardo Ropero said that he and his team members were oozing with confidence to get involved in the fight, alongside local health sector workers, to control and eventually tame the outbreak that has caused woe and destruction across the global landscape.

“We will not let the people of Jamaica down...Never,” Dr Ropero told the Jamaica Observer in an exclusive interview Friday evening, at the end of the team's 14-day quarantine.

“We are here to support the Jamaican health system to fight the new pandemic; interchanging knowledge with colleagues of this country and improve the knowledge and health of the Jamaican people,” the veteran practitioner of 25 years stated.

 The Cuban team of 46 doctors, 98 nurses and four technicians arrived in Jamaica on Saturday, March 21. Starting this weekend, they will be deployed across the four health regions (South East, North East, Western, and Southern) at hospitals and health centres. Dr Ropero will be based in the western region but does not know exactly where yet.

“Jamaica can depend on us 100 per cent. The Cuban medical personnel are filled with humanity and solidarity. We love our profession and we care for our patients,” Dr Ropero underscored.

Now that the period of quarantine has elapsed, Dr Ropero has joined other medical personnel, near and far, in appealing to remember that people that paying attention to health care tips is in their best interest.

He wants Jamaicans to know that the best approach in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis is for people to understand how importance it is to “wash their hands frequently, avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth if you are out of the house; keep social distance of almost one metre; use sanitary face mask or handmade mask” — a message that is now like an echo across the globe.

More can be done, he argued, while noting that some people refuse to self-isolate and don't understand that it is necessary for their wellness. Dr Ropero said that it is necessary to involve all media, in particular television, print, radio, and the Internet, in educating the population.4331651050?profile=RESIZE_710x

He, too, is not against the wearing of masks, as the debate rages over whether or not the items are necessary, as according to him, “the advice from the WHO [World Health Organization] is that just ill persons must use the mask, but it is very difficult to know when a person is sick — because the patient could be an asymptomatic person for 14 days”. Like other members of the brigade, he too has his fears of getting infected but remains confident that members of the team will be as careful as they can be.

“Yes, of course it is a real possibility, but if we follow correctly the safety indications, the risk of contracting the virus will be very low,” he maintained. Dr Ropero praised the Government of Jamaica, in particular the Ministry of Health and Wellness, for being “far-sighted” about coronarivus, citing the ministry's programme of informing the people from early about how to care for themselves, self-isolation, and effecting control on travellers. The first-time traveller to Jamaica, who has worked in Venezuela for seven years and Brazil for two, does not see a challenge for him and his team to fit into the Jamaican culture and enjoy what it has to offer, including the food. There are 77 members of the 138-team which has experience working abroad.

“Almost everything I heard about Jamaica is good — your culture is great; I love Bob Marley I heard from other Cuban doctors who worked here that you are very kind people, very friendly and hard workers; and of course all Cubans love Usain Bolt. He is unique.

 “The food is spicy, and yes, it is a little problem... a little hot for our mouths, but we try to get in the habit of eating spicy food. In the hotels the cooks are the best. The food is always delicious.”

Jamaica's dark side though — violence and crime — is of concern to the Cuban medical leader and his team, and they will do everything necessary to protect themselves. “I don't like what I hear about the violence and crime in Jamaica. In Venezuela and Brazil we treated shooting patients and some injured by the knife, and it's a painful picture for any person, even a doctor. But we are here to work and that is our main focus,” said the medic who admitted to being a sportsman of sorts, having played “a little baseball and soccer”, though confessing that he was not good at either.

The team was part of a contingent of Cuban medical personnel who were selected last year by a group of Jamaican technocrats who visited the north Caribbean socialist state from June 12 to 16 to recruit almost 300 professionals.4331661534?profile=RESIZE_710x

The selections were done by a team that was headed by senior director, human resource management in the Ministry of Health and Wellness Gail Hudson, and also included head of surgery at Annotto Bay Hospital Dr Ray Fraser, who studied medicine in Cuba; regional technical director for the Western Regional Health Authority Dr Diane Stennett Campbell; Nurse Educator Sheila Daley Jones; Director, Human Resource and Industrial Relations Coleen Ricketts-Evans; Director, Human Resource and Industrial Relations Pauline Roberts; Director, Nursing Services (KPH) Joan Walker-Nicholson; Chief Nursing Officer Patricia Ingram-Martin; Director, Nursing Services (Cornwall Regional Hospital) Gillian Ledgister; Director, Nursing Services (St Ann's Bay Hospital) Marcia Lafayette; Regional Nursing Supervisor (SERHA) Marcia Thomas-Yetman; and Senior Medical Officer (St Catherine Health Department) Dr Francia Prosper-Chen.

This is the third and final batch of medical personnel to arrive from Cuba within the last nine months.

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Asafa Powell launches fitness and health website


Asafa Powell, the former 100-metre world record holder and current Guinness Record holder for the most sub-10 runs has launched, a fitness membership platform to help people around the world take control of their health and meet their fitness goals, with hands-on guidance on workouts and nutrition.

“Health is our greatest asset,” Powell said. “Having over a decade of dedicated workout and nutrition experience as an athlete I felt it was time to share that.”

The services offered on the site include but not limited to a 12-week fitness plan, nutrition advice, as well as recipes and fitness videos. Having done a soft launch to get feedback and fine-tune the site, the response has positive.

It has given persons the opportunity to start their fitness journey with someone they trust, can relate to and know that the support they need is at their fingertips.

“I wanted to create a community,” Powell said.

Once people sign up, they get access to a range of his e-books like 'Live Like a Legend', a 30-Day guide to help people kick-start their journey to fitness. There is also access to a private group on Facebook that members can join to share their progress, provide support, share recipe ideas and keep in touch with Powell as they embark on their fitness journey.

The site also features more than 50 fitness videos providing detailed workout instructions for beginners as well as expert advice on how to exercise safely and effectively as well as Powell’s Nutrition Mission eBook.

To learn more about Asafa’s fitness membership platform and to see why it’s poised to change the game visit

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NASSAU, The Bahamas, Friday May 4, 2018 
– Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis, a Bahamian public health pioneer known for her work in advancing and verifying regional disease elimination efforts, has been named a Public Health Hero of the Americas by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO).

A Bahamian physician and public health expert, Dr Dahl-Regis is best known for her leadership of the International Expert Committee (IEC) for verification of the elimination of measles, rubella and congenital rubella syndrome and for her advocacy and support of the regional Dual Elimination Initiative, aimed at eliminating mother-to-child transmission of syphilis and HIV in the Americas. She most recently was invited to contribute her expertise on disease elimination as chair WHO’s Global Validation Advisory Committee.

“Dr Dahl-Regis’ list of accomplishments is long. But in addition to their number, there is something quite special about them, in that the most important ones in the areas of immunization and the elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV and Congenital Syphilis are also regional achievements. They are historical milestones for public health in the Americas,” said PAHO Director Dr Carissa Etienne, during the award ceremony on Wednesday.

“She has carried on that Bahamian tradition of providing leadership for the pursuit of ambitious collective health goals. She has done so within the CARICOM sub-region, in the Americas as a whole, and most recently at the global level”. 300w, 400w" sizes="(max-width: 740px) 100vw, 740px" />


Dr Dahl-Regis was one of the first women to graduate in medicine in the Bahamas during the 1960s. Early in her career, she recognized the vital role of primary health care and universal access to clean water, sanitation, good nutrition and vaccines, and dedicated her work to ensuring the health and well-being of people throughout the Americas and beyond.

“She is just the second Caribbean national and the first Caribbean women to receive this prestigious award,” added Dr Etienne. “The title of Public Health Hero of the Americas is not one that is bestowed lightly, but I know that those of us who have work with, studied under, been cared for or mentored by her, will agree that she merits a place among this distinguished group of public health servants”.

Dr Dahl-Regis expressed gratitude for the recognition.

“This recognition of the work I have done in public health does not belong to me alone. I could not have done it without the contributions of so many, particularly of the health care workers in the field, the staff at all levels, my family, my friends, and lots of faith and prayers,” she said.

Dr Dahl-Regis spearheaded a variety of ground-breaking health initiatives in the region. She was a strong advocate for maternal and child health services, working tirelessly  with PAHO’s Latin American and Caribbean Center for Perinatology, Women and Reproductive Health, to ensure improvements in these areas. As Chief Medical Officer in the Bahamas, she also established the Comprehensive Adolescent Health Care Center in Nassau, which provides a holistic approach to health and development.

In 2010, Dr Dahl-Regis was appointed to lead PAHO’s International Expert Committee (IEC) for verification of the elimination of measles, rubella and congenital rubella syndrome. PAHO said that thanks, in great part, to her outstanding leadership, tireless commitment and holistic understanding of specific country needs and realities, during her tenure the Americas became the first region in the world to be declared free of measles and rubella.

As well as her work leading efforts towards the elimination of vaccine preventable diseases, Dr Dahl-Regis’ career was also distinguished by her contribution to the success of the dual Elimination Initiative, which seeks to prevent mother-to-child transmission of syphilis and HIV.

PAHO noted that the impact of her work is also felt at a global level. In 2015, she was invited to chair the WHO’s Global Validation Advisory Committee, a role that she continues to carry out today. She is also in demand in other regions to provide guidance for verifying the status of measles and rubella elimination.

Dr Dahl-Regis has received numerous honors during her career, including the PAHO Award for Administration, which recognized her outstanding contribution to healthcare management and research, and to medical education in primary healthcare.

The PAHO Public Health Heroes initiative recognizes individuals for their invaluable contributions to public health in the Americas. Previous heroes include, among others, Dr Mirna Cunningham of Nicaragua, who worked as an advocate for human rights, the collective rights of indigenous peoples, and women’s health; and Dr Maria Isabel Rodriguez of El Salvador, who was the country’s first female Minister of Health, leading the transformation of the national health sector toward a universal, equitable and high-quality system based on human rights.

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Health Minister Horace Dalley (right) and with Cuban Ambassador His Excellency Bernardo Hernandez (left) sign two Technical Cooperation Agreements between Cuba and Jamaica.

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Ministry of Health yesterday signed two bilateral partnership agreements with Cuba. The official signing took place at the ministry’s head office in Kingston.

 The agreements signed are:

• Technical Cooperation Agreement between the Ministry of Public Health of the Republic of Cuba and the Ministry of Health of Jamaica.

• Agreement on Cooperation between Cuba and Jamaica for the functioning of an Ophthalmology Centre.

Health Minister Horace Dalley said thousands of Jamaicans have benefitted from the forty three years of diplomatic relations with Cuba. “Cuba has never refused to help us. Many Jamaicans have benefitted especially from the Jamaica/Cuba Eye care programme,” Dalley said.


 Under the Technical Cooperation agreement several Cuban health workers have been coming to Jamaica and making important contribution to the health sector.

There are currently 71 Cuban professionals working in Jamaica, 53 of which are from the Jamaica-Cuba Technical Agreement and 18 of which are under the Eye Care Programme partnership.

Of the 71 Cuban professionals in the island 27 are doctors, 36 are nurses and 8 are professional technologists.

On July 28, 2009 the Bilateral Agreement of Cooperation for the establishment of a Centre of Excellence was signed between the Jamaican and Cuban Governments. Out of that came the Jamaica/Cuba Eye Care Centre which was officially opened in January, 2010.

Since its inception, the Ophthalmology Centre has received in excess of 78,000 visits.

More than 24,000 people have been screened and more than 9,842 procedures done, all in Jamaica.

“There has been a concerted effort by both the Cuban and Jamaican Governments to ensure that our people get the best health care. Our partnership in health with Cuba over the years has been extremely beneficial and we look forward to continuing to work with the Government and people of Cuba in the future,” Dalley said.

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Renovation work on the Nannyville Health Centre in Kingston is currently underway.


The scope of work for the project includes the installation of a chain- link perimeter fence, paving of the drive way, landscaping, installation of a new roof and ceiling, electrical upgrade, grill work, installation of plumbing fixtures and air conditioning units.


The work on the building is expected to cost approximately $26.9 million, while an additional $24.6 million will be used to purchase furniture and equipment for the facility. The contract for this project is valued at $51 Million and is being funded by the National Health Fund.


“The Nannyville Health Centre has been closed for several years and so we want to ensure that work in completed in a timely manner so that the residents can begin to access health care services from this facility as soon as possible,” Dr. Andrei Cooke, Acting SERHA Board Chairman said.


“This project is slated to be completed by the end of July.”


The Nannyville Health Centre is just one of a number of health centres slated for renovation and or expansion by SERHA this year.


The Region will also renovate and or expand the Bath, Arcadia, Rowllands Field and Yallahs Health Centres in St. Thomas; the Hagley Park, Red Hills, Padmore, Rock Hall, Lawrence Tavern and Stony Hill Health Centres in Kingston and St. Andrew and the Greater Portmore Health Centre in St. Catherine.


Additionally, the Golden Spring Health in St. Andrew is to be reconstructed and upgraded through funding from the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).


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Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller says stigma and discrimination towards persons living with HIV and AIDS remains a major concern in Jamaica. In an address delivered this morning on her behalf by Minister of Health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, at the UNAIDS and Lancet Commission meeting, Mrs. Simpson Miller said Jamaica’s culture and history pose ongoing challenges around equity and justice that must be overcome.


“We must ensure that all persons in need have access to Treatment, Care and Support without fear of victimization. I am happy to note that great strides have been made globally since the signing of the Political Declaration, with partnerships and alliances that we could not have imagined a few years ago.”


She said health must be viewed as a national asset and systems must be put in place to ensure that our populations benefit from increased efficiency and greater accessibility to health care.  “In Jamaica, we recognize that if we are to move forward as a country towards development, we have to tackle matters that prevent us from achieving improvements in the health of the population,” Mrs. Simpson Miller pointed out.


She added that health for all and justice in health must be the basis of our actions. “In Jamaica, we continue to enjoy strong bi-partisan support for our 2011 “Declaration of Commitment to End Stigma, Discrimination and Gender Inequality affecting Jamaica’s HIV/AIDS Response”. We have strengthened our collaboration with Faith-Based Organizations, as we all recognize that we have to embrace and assist our brothers and sisters even more in times of struggle.”


Dr. Ferguson is representing the Prime Minister at the UNAIDS and Lancet Commission: Defeating AIDS – Advancing global health meeting being held from February 13-14, 2014 in London. The meeting is focusing on the future of AIDS and global health in the post-2015 era.

‘The Commission was established in early 2013 and bring together more than 40 Heads of State and political leaders, HIV and health experts, young people, activists, scientists and private sector representatives to ensure that lessons learned in the AIDS response can be applied to transform how countries and partners approach health and development.’

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A contract has been signed to start renovation and refurbishing work on the Nannyville Health Centre in St. Andrew.

The work on the Centre is expected to cost $26,886,854.00 with an additional $24,601,951.00 to be used to purchase furniture and equipment for a total of $51,488,805.00.

Speaking at the contract signing today, Minister of Health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, said that the building has not been used for over 20 years and so he was happy to note that by the end of July the health centre should be completed.

“The project comes at a time when the Ministry is putting increased focus on the importance of having primary health care services at the community level. Our broader aim is to increase access to health services in communities as part of efforts to combat the prevalence of non communicable diseases. NCDs are the most common cause of death in Jamaica and represent the most important cause of morbidity in the country.”

He said the focus is also on “making sure that prevention and treatment services are available in communities to limit the need for persons to seek care at the hospital level because of advanced illness.”

The work, which is being carried out by Alphasure Structures and Roofing include electrical and a/c works, external works to include the erection of a chain link boundary fence and paving of the parking lot as well as general renovation and roof repairs.

Services to be offered include curative, maternal and child health and dental care. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of July 2014.

The National Health Fund is providing grant funding for the project.


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February 4, 2014
There has been a tremendous response to registration for the new Government of Jamaica (GOJ) Health Card.  Thirty thousand registration forms were issued and at the end of the first day of registration most public health facilities reported that their batch of registration forms was fully utilized. Additional forms were dispatched today, while more will be distributed to the Regional Health Authorities by tomorrow.
The GOJ Health Card was launched on Friday, January 31, 2014 and registration began on February 3, 2014 in all public health facilities, the Ministry of Health’s Head office and the National Health Fund.
In order to register persons will be required to provide their name, address, phone number, Tax Registration Number (TRN) and in the case of PATH beneficiaries, their PATH numbers.  Once filled out the card can be left at any public health facility, the Ministry of Health’s head office, any office of the Regional Health Authority, any NHF help desk and the NHF head office. Persons should ensure that the address given is correct as the card will be mailed.
The use of the card will begin in all public health facilities on March 3, 2014.

Photo Caption: Jamaican Health Minister Dr. Fenton Ferguson addresses the GOJ Health Card issue.

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Public Health Inspectors Still Working - Jamaica


The Ministry of Health (MOH) in a statement the press is assuring the Jamaican public that "meat inspections along with visits to key food establishments and institutions are continuing".

The statement continued with the following information: this, as the Ministry of Health is using a range of measures to deal with the present impasse involving some Public Health Inspectors.

We must note that JALGO-represented Public Health Inspectors in the Kingston & St. Andrew Public Health Area are refusing to do duty travel using their personal vehicles.

All Non-JALGO-represented inspectors are functioning normally.

In the case of those who refuse to travel, their work is being facilitated by Public Health Department vehicles and assigned drivers.

In addition the KSA Public Health Department has engaged retired Public Health Inspectors to assist where there are challenges.

The Ministry of Health wishes to assure the public that in the meantime work continues to have a speedy resolution to the impasse.

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Minister of Health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson will be addressing the media to explain the intention of the Ministry to implement the GOJ health card across public health sector facilities.

Registration for the card will begin shortly and usage will begin soon afterwards.

The initiative is being done in partnership with the National Health Fund.

There will be a press conference regarding the official launch on Friday January 31- 2014 at 11:00 a.m.

The event will take place at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, Montego Bay St. James.

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The South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) wishes to refute vehemently allegations in an article printed in the Jamaica Observer newspaper on Tuesday, January 21, 2013 titled “Disgrace”.

Board Chairman Mr. Lyttleton Shirley and the Regional Director, Mr. Donald Farquharson met with the management of the Riversdale Health Centre and the St. Catherine Health Services, the body responsible for operating the health centre, to ascertain the whether or not the allegations reflected the situation at the health centre.

The following allegations printed in the Observer were refuted by the management of the health centre.

1. Officials at the health centre were locked in an emergency meeting as they tried to come to a decision as to whether to temporarily close the facility until the problem is resolved.

No such meeting was held by the management of the health centre and there were never any discussions on the matter at any time. Only the Ministry of Health has the authority to sanction the closure of any health centre. In fact, the situation did not warrant the concern of management as the water supply to the health centre was appropriately managed with the support of the National Water Commission, which provided water to the health centre in a prompt and efficient manner.

2. Staff at the Riversdale Health Centre has been reduced to using a single bucket of water for their daily operations.
The Region deems this statement as unfortunate and inaccurate and it is seen as an affront to our staff who has been maintaining best standard practice at the health centre, which they have done in an appropriate manner.

The management openly stated that the bucket that was pictured in the article was a cleaning bucket and did not indicate in any form or shape the level or storage of water supply at the facility. The facility is fully equipped with two large water tanks, which are capable of meeting the demand for water at the health facility. In addition to the tanks serving the facility, the residents have benefited from water at the health centre on many occasions. This decision was made by the management to provide limited assistance to the residents to mitigate against public health risks associated with water shortage.

3. Medical personnel had to forgo washing their hands many times when they treat patients to save the one bucket of water for even dire emergencies.

This was rubbished by the management of the health centre as being absurd and ridiculous as such a facility cannot operate on a bucket of water. Such a practice would have serious public health implications and would tarnish the reputation of the health centre, which the staff has so carefully and professionally maintained in their quest to offer best practice health care to the residents of Riversdale.

The Chairman wishes to state that he continues to support the media in the work they do to bring attention to all issues that will promote and mitigate against all hospitals and health centres failing to offer professional service and provide proper health care services. He said he strongly believes that such efforts to identify issues must be done professionally and accurately so that erroneous statements do not allow the public to lose confidence in the public health system, which the Ministry of Health and the Region has worked so hard to improve and maintain.

The Chairman also expressed disappointment in the follow up article printed on January 22, 2013 as the reporter who wrote the article was invited to be part of a meeting at the health centre to hear first hand from the NWC and management of the health who refuted the allegations made in the original article.

He said the second article appears to be bridled with the issues of the wider community which does not necessarily reflect the situation at the health centre.
Please note that the Riversdale was fully refurbished by Ministry of Health in 2013.

Photo Caption: SERHA
Board Chairman Mr. Lyttleton Shirley

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Minister of Health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson has been awarded the highest and most prestigious Dental Fellowship with high commendation not only for his contribution to Dentistry but because of highlighting Dentistry through his political position as Minister of Health. Dr. Ferguson was inducted as Fellow of the International College of Dentists (ICD) in a ceremony which took place today at the University of the West Indies, Mona.

In his address the Health Minister said the induction was historic as it was the first of its kind in the English speaking Caribbean for the 85 year old organisation.

“I am the first minister of health to be a dentist. I have a historic responsibility not just for the health of the country but also for this profession. The induction ceremony reflects the best of the Caribbean. The challenges are great but we have a vision. My vision is for Jamaica to become the health hub of the Caribbean by 2030. We have a good team so I’m confident that this can happen,” he said.

He added that the Fellowships represented a culmination of the hard work that has been going on in the field. “We have a responsibility to protect the ICD. Therefore our work has just begun. Oral health has not gotten the recognition it deserves but we have made some progress. I want all of us as Fellows to fight to ensure that oral health is fully recognised.”

A number of other individuals were inducted as ICD Fellows including Dr. Tony Lewis, Professor Errol Morrison, Professor Everard Barton, Dr. Irvine McKenzie, Dr. Winston Grey and Dr. Dorrick Boyd among others.

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AAIMS Takes AIM - Jamaica

 Jamaica’s first offshore medical school is now in a position to offer clinical practice to students.


This, as the school signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Health on Wednesday morning.


The MOU will mean that medical students from the All American Institute of medical Sciences (AAIMS) can now do clinical practice at some Jamaican medical facilities.


The institutions cover hospitals in Jamaica’s Southern Regional Health Authority (Clarendon Manchester & St. Elizabeth).


Speaking at the signing ceremony Health Minister Dr. Fenton Ferguson said he wants to ensure that optimal standards are maintained as the medical students interact with Jamaicans at local health facilities.


“I see this as a win-win opportunity where medical doctors in training can be exposed to what happens in our health facilities and at the same time we in the Health Service can ensure that a high quality of health care is delivered under properly supervised circumstances”, Dr. Ferguson said.


The three-year old AAIMS medical school is an offshore facility that presently operates a campus in Black River St. Elizabeth.


There are 114 students on roll with 70 in the Medical Doctor programme and 44 in a Pre-Med programme.


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On Friday November 29-2013 in Health Minister Dr. Fenton Ferguson will officially open the completed phase one of the Santa Cruz Health Centre, in the parish of St. Elizabeth Jamaica.

The openining comes on the heels of the finalisation of phase one of the expansion of the Santa Cruz health centre into a primary health care centre of excellence.

Dr. Fenton Ferguson will be the key note speaker at the ceremony to mark the official opening of the facility under this new direction.

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Two pathologists and three dentists are among the twenty Cuban medical personnel who have arrived in the island and will be placed in the various health regions as part of efforts to improve the human resource capacity in the public health sector.

Minister of Health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson says the acquisition of these two groups of health personnel is historic as it will be the first time that these categories from Cuba would be joining the health team in Jamaica.

Speaking at the official welcome ceremony for the group held at the Bustamante Hospital for Children on Friday afternoon, Dr. Ferguson said “the pathologists will facilitate quicker turn-around time of specimen in the national public health lab and therefore more effective and efficient services for cancer patients for example. The dentists will allow us to place more focus on dental health care especially at the community level. As you know this is one of my passions being a dental surgeon myself and keen about improving overall health care at the primary level.”

Other groups of health professionals in the batch include three (3) general practitioners, one (1) neonatologist, five (5) neonatology nurses, one (1) primary health care nurse, four (4) nephrology nurses, and one (1) nephrologist.

Dr. Ferguson explained that while it is important for us to build on our human resource and ensure that there is access to specialist training in areas where we do not have the requisite skills available, procuring those skills from our partners such as Cuba is important for the efficient maintenance of the health system.

“I want to stress that the skills that we have requested from Cuba are for areas where we do not have the personnel available at all locally or in sufficient quantities. We have to be mindful that it takes 2-4 years to graduate a specialist in the health sector and we continue to lose our highly trained workers to developed countries they consider greener pastures in terms of competitiveness of salary and benefits. We therefore have to use recruitment of human resource from overseas partners as one of our strategies to fill positions in the public health sector,” he said.

Since 2012, the Government has signed four bilateral agreements with Cuba in relation to the Jamaica/Cuba Ophthalmology Centre, the Agency Agreement in support of the Biomedical Services Arrangement, Spare Parts Agreement and the Technical Cooperation Agreement.

In December 2012, the two countries celebrated forty (40) years of diplomatic relations.

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November 15, 2013


$33.98 Million Spent to Complete the Oak Glades Health Centre A total of $33.98 million has been spent to complete the Oak Glades health centre in Delacree Park, St. Andrew.

The money was used to among other things, construct an additional building on the facility that was donated by the United States Air Force in 2010; purchase equipment and retrofit the building through works including putting in place a sewage connection, installation of a partition, paved walkways and a UPS system.

Minister of Health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson says the completion and furnishing of the health centre is in keeping with the Ministry’s plans to develop primary health care and ensure that access to health services at this level is available to communities across the island.

Dr. Ferguson was speaking today at the official opening of the health centre. “We have been moving forward with this across the island.

So far we have completed work on over 100 health centres and we are far ahead in the development of the four Centres of Excellence in primary health care.

We have one such facility in each Region. These will become the examples of best practice in primary health care and in future we hope to be able to build similar facilities that will improve access to holistic care to communities across the island,” he said.

The Oak Glades Health Centre is a type three facility which began offering services to the public in 2011.

The CHASE Fund, the Ministry of Health through SERHA and the National Health Fund provided funding for the completion of the health centre.

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Today Tuesday November 12-2013 marks the official start of the National Health Fund's 8th Caribbean Conference on Health Financing Initiatives.

Health Minister Dr. Fenton Ferguson will be giving the feature address at the event, which takes place at the Hilton Rose Hall Hotel, in Montego Bay Jamaica.

The conferences begins at 9:45 a.m. and will include participants from participants from various Caribbean Countries.

The attendees are expected to deliberate during the National Health Fund hosted Conference; on topics that will include International Developments in Health Financing, Medical Tourism, Telemedicine and Examination of the Treatment cost of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases and optimizing the use of ICT applications in Healthcare and the economic implications of an aging population.3666658473?profile=original3666658831?profile=original3666657593?profile=original

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For the first time in our half a decade existence The Maia Chung Autism and Disabilities Foundation will during global Autism month, April 6-2013 will showcase our organisation at the GOLDEN SPRING HEALTH FAIR AND INFORMATION EXPO - until then subscribe to our organisation's You Tube channel see link attached - IT IS FREE!

We'll have free stuff to giveaway as we commemorate our five year milestone anniversary.

Watch the videos and come and ask about what you want clarified.


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Copyright 2013

“Advancing together”
The Golden Spring Community Centre invites you to partner with us in a day dedicated to promoting health and wellness. This is the annual showing of the fair and expo where patrons will be provided with various health services with a holistic approach. The expo will also provide those in attendance with information about essential services from various organizations.

The Health and Wellness Expo will include various participants such as:
Doctors, dentists, nurses, and other health care professionals
Government Agencies e.g. Ministry of Health
NGOs with focus on Sexually Transmitted Infections prevention, early cancer detection and treatment
Food Manufacturers & Distributors
Pharmaceutical Companies
Financial /Insurance Institutions e.g. Banks, Credit Unions
Natural Health Practitioners
Artists e.g. Jewellery Makers
Educational Institutions e.g. colleges
Organizations with special interests and focus on special needs and disabilities with learning and development

The general theme for the Health Fair and Information Expo will be “Health and Wellness - from the inside out.” The whole health and well-being of patrons will be the focus in all the services and products being offered; patrons will be offered services treating their bodies, their minds and their spirits. There will be medical professionals doing blood pressure checks, sugar tests, cholesterol tests, body mass index calculations, nutrition counselling as well as information sessions on stress management and stroke prevention etc.

The location for the Fair and Expo will be at the Golden Spring Community Centre’s football field, located in Golden Spring Saint Andrew which is only a ten minute drive from Stony Hill. This location was chosen because it has adequate space for a Fair and Expo of this size and it is the main recreational grounds for the community.

The date for the Fair and Expo will be Saturday, April 6, 2013. This date is ideal as it is the falls within the Easter season where people are conscious about their health. It is also the Saturday after Easter Monday and people will be able to take time out to look about their health.

The time period for the Expo will be from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. all sponsors and participants will have full access to the grounds for at least 24 hours prior to the Expo’s start time.


The admission to the Expo is free.

The target number of attendees is an estimated 500 adults and 200 children. This has been calculated based on the population of the community who will serve as our main focus, as well as from the data collected on previous expos.

The aim of the Expo is to expose persons to proper health care and services. Affordable health care of a high standard is not readily accessible and patrons will be able to access these services along with a range of products for free or discounted. Select patrons based on their health profile will also be given equipment (e.g. blood pressure monitors) to enable them to independently monitor and improve their health.

An area will be provided exclusively for children activities and general family entertainment including bounce -a-bout, clowns, games, face painting, arts and craft, grab bag etc.

Participating in this event gives your company/organization an opportunity to increase contact with your target market. Participation in this expo will be mutually beneficial: it is a great way of promoting your brand/cause whilst making health services affordable and accessible to the public.

Billboards, posters, flyers
Health and Wellness Expo Facebook Page
Health and Wellness website with links to sponsors’ websites
Promotion of Fair and Expo on TV and Radio programmes
Town cry

53666653752?profile=originalManaging Director of  The Maia Chung Autism and Disabilities Foundation flanked by board members of the Foundation to the left Cassius Watson and to the right Jason Cross.



All participants will have a booth space with table and two chairs at a cost of $5,000.


For any queries about sponsoring the Golden Spring Health Fair and Information Expo contact:
Chrishina Richards
Tel: (876) 479-2249/566-9213
or e-mail:

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well it is official The Maia Chung Autism and Disabilities Foundation feeding of the homeless programme is up and running we have had two successful months, we focus downtown and we do it on a Wednesday, if you have money to buy fresh food and water call us on 507-1833 we do the buying and distribution. I and my team of high school volunteers commend the Jamaica Constabulary Force for providing us with a police escort to carry out the work. This is an example of the Jamaican People Partnership (JPP) that can yield good things for the powerless in our country and help growth and social provision development - and the need is great, the security presence prevents fights over the food we distribute as the people are quite hungry and thirsty. This is a new department of the Foundation and we need support for more food and water.PS I am forming a political party JPP - all those who want to solve problems just link me - we can run in the next election.

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The World Health Organization in Geneva reported that children in the Cayman Islands and St Lucia are some of the least active in the world.

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, April 12, 2010 – The price of progress is being charged to the health and well-being of the citizens of the Caribbean according to international observers. PAHO/WHO Resident Representative to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Dr. Gina Watson has stated that urban settings are having an impact on the health of residents and this is of particular concern in this region as Latin America and the Caribbean are the world's most urbanized developing region. Speaking at a recent public health event in Bridgetown, Dr Watson emphasized the need for city planners to develop walking paths and green areas within the city.

“Families in urban areas are much less likely to have access to arable land on which they can plant fruits, vegetables and ground provisions to provide nutritious meals... they are more likely to rely on readibly available fast food' of low-nutritional value. All of these factors contribute to the higher rate of risk factors for chronic diseases,” Dr Watson said as she addressed the 6th Lions and Leo Club of Barbados health fair in the City to mark World Health Day under the theme is "Urbanization and Healthy Living".

Dr Watson’s remarks came just days after a study released by Regina Guthold of the World Health Organization in Geneva reported that children in the Cayman Islands and St Lucia are some of the least active in the world.

In the study, published in The Journal of Pediatrics, Guthold and her team looked at 72,845 13- to 15-year-old schoolchildren from North and South America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. The children were surveyed between 2003 and 2007.

St. Lucia and the Cayman Islands were found to be the most sedentary nations with 58 percent of boys and 64 percent of girls spending at least three hours a day in sedentary activity.

The researchers defined adequate physical activity as at least an hour of exercise (outside of gym class) at least five days a week. Children who spent three or more hours watching TV, playing computer games, or chatting with friends (aside from time in school or time spent doing homework) were classified as sedentary.

Just one-quarter of the boys and 15 percent of the girls were getting enough exercise by their definition, the researchers found. And a quarter of boys and nearly 30 percent of girls were sedentary and didn't get enough exercise.

Such risks have not escaped the scrutiny of Barbados’ Minister of Health Donville Inniss, who called for health issues to be incorporated fully into urban public policy, to create healthier living conditions, especially for persons living and working in urban settings, as he delivered the opening remarks at the World Health Day event.

The Health Minister said: "Our national aspirations include the desire to continue to develop our physical infrastructure and to improve the social and economic conditions to a standard that will provide an optimum quality of life for all Barbadians. However, as we pursue these goals, our approach to urban development must ensure that health is incorporated more broadly into urban public policy.

"...We are fortunate to live in a region of the world that has amenable climate conditions and we must create the opportunity to take advantage of our outdoor environment to improve our health and well-being."

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