JIS News

Chief Executive Officer of the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, W. ‘Billy’ Heaven has reported that the Fund has disbursed some $965 million to several projects, since its inception three years ago.In regard to the Fund’s focus on the health sector, Mr. Heaven said to date, CHASE has given its approval to 80 projects valued at $295.5 million, with $158 million having already been disbursed to the projects.
He was speaking at a Health Expo hosted by the CHASE Fund, at the Hilton Hotel in Kingston yesterday (August 30).
Providing a breakdown of the overall funding of projects, Mr. Heaven pointed out that equipping and improving health facilities got the lion’s share, with 61 per cent; the promotion of healthy lifestyles received 17 per cent; 9 per cent was allocated for the building of health facilities; 3 per cent for the training of personnel; 2.5 per cent given to assist projects that promoted drug abuse prevention; 2 per cent for programmes for cancer and cancer support; and 2 per cent to support programmes for the mentally challenged.
An additional 3.5 per cent is allocated by the Fund, Mr. Heaven explained, alongside donations made from private sector entities, to broaden the scope and scale of projects that CHASE would approve for funding.
He further informed that the FISH Foundation, situated in Papine, was a recent beneficiary of funding in the sum of $22.3 million.
“This is to fund a programme for screening and testing of eye disorders in 54 primary schools in Kingston and St. Andrew, and is to benefit 4,000 children between the age of six and 12 years,” Mr. Heaven noted.
The expo also saw members of CHASE’s Health Committee making presentations to some 24 projects, which collectively, are recipients of an estimated $63.5 million in funding.
Among the funded projects are, the erection of fencing around the Princess Margaret Hospital in St. Thomas; an endoscopic video system for urology service at the Kingston Public Hospital; the purchasing of modern x-ray film processors at St. Ann’s Bay, Annotto Bay, Port Maria and Port Antonio Hospitals.
The CHASE Fund was established by the Government in 2002 to support particular aspects of Jamaican life. The areas selected by the government were culture, health, arts, sports and early childhood education. Funds to support these areas of national life are drawn from proceeds from the operations of the lottery company, Supreme Ventures Limited.