|Improvements Coming for Princess Margaret Hospital in St. Thomas|
|Wednesday, 23 January 2013 16:30|
Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson says a number of initiatives are in the works to improve the Princess Margaret Hospital in Morant Bay, St. Thomas. Speaking at the official handing over of items from the People Bridge Charitable Foundation for the immunization programme in the parish this morning (Wednesday, January 23, 2013), Dr. Ferguson said the Ministry has already sent out to tender for work to fence the hospital.
He added that an architect has been brought in to assist with the plans to renovate the Accident and Emergency section and approval has been obtained to put in place a new sewage system for the facility.
“I am happy to announce as well that the drawings have been completed for the construction of eighty six (86) housing units for staff. Discussions are now ongoing to source the funding for this project,” Dr. Ferguson said.
Meanwhile, the Minister thanked the People Bridge Charitable Foundation out of Canada for the donation of a refrigerator, 17 igloos and a length board (infantometre) valued at nearly $180,000 for the immunization programme in the parish. Fourteen health centres in St. Thomas are set to benefit from the donation.
“Our immunization programme is cited as a model for other nations. This foundation was laid in the 1970s. Implementing a stellar immunization programme has resulted in the elimination of a number of vaccine-preventable diseases and the reduction of infant and child mortality. The donation from People Bridge Charity Foundation will go a far way in assisting us to secure these gains,” Dr. Ferguson said.
Prior to the introduction of the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), the infant mortality rate from infectious diseases, including vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, polio, neonatal tetanus, tuberculosis, diphtheria, bacterial meningitis and pneumonia, was high, at some 51 per 1000 live births in the 1960s and 32 per 1,000 live births in the 1970s. The infant mortality rate now stands at 21 per 1,000 live births.
Last year, the country achieved a hundred percent coverage for tuberculosis (BCG), 92 percent for polio, diphtheria, pertussis or whooping cough, tetanus (DPT), hepatitis B and haemophilus influenza type B (HIB), and 88 percent coverage for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).
In 2007 and again in 2011, Jamaica won the Henry C. Smith Immunization Award. This award is given to the country that has made the most improvement in its Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) for the year.
Contact: MOH, Public Relations Unit Tel: 967-1561
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