KINGSTON — Patients of the Bustamante Hospital for Children in Kingston were treated to toys, and given the opportunity to meet Caribbean Community (CARICOM) dignitaries, who paid them a visit Tuesday (November 22).
The spouses of the Presidents and Governors-General participating in the 14th Annual Conference of Presidents and Governors-General of CARICOM, engaged in lively interaction with the children and staff during a tour of the facility.
Their Excellencies also participated in reading sessions, with the older children being housed at the hospital.
The wives of the Presidents and Governors General included: Lady Allen, wife of the Governor-General of Jamaica; Lady Foulkes, wife of the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas; Lady Liverpool, wife of the President of the Commonwealth of Dominica; and Lady Glean, wife of the Governor-General of Grenada.
In an interview with JIS News, Lady Allen said it is critical that the nation’s children, especially those who are ill, to be shown love and support and that was the reason for the visit which was planned by members of the delegation.
She noted that it is important that the children are given an opportunity to learn while they are at the hospital.
Wife of the Governor-General of Grenada, Her Excellency Lady Norma Glean said she enjoyed the visit, adding that it was an eye-opener, since in Grenada the children are housed at the same facility as the adults.
"I am very impressed with the (learning and) activity unit, (as) the children can continue their education while they are ill at the hospital and they look so well taken care of, they look so alert and happy and so I am pleased with that," she told JIS News.
Lady Glean who read the storybook ‘Wide Mouth Frog’ to the children, said they were very attentive during the session, as they were able to give feedback, which is indicative of attention paid.
Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Anthony Wood said it is always a positive initiative to bring “good cheer” to the children
Other areas of the compound visited included: wards four, five and six; and the administrative block.
Earlier in the day, the spouses were taken on a tour of the historic heritage site, Devon House, and were joined later that afternoon for a tour of King's House.
Ten Heads of State from Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica are attending the four-day conference, which is being held under the theme: ‘Building Together for the Future’.
The event will allow for the sharing of experiences and developments in the various territories.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter