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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Bright Journey Medical Mission will be training staff of the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) in new technology to ensure the sustainability of the work being undertaken by the team from China.
  • The 50-member team, comprising ophthalmologists, nurses, and technical support staff, including biomedical engineers, arrived in Jamaica on March 27 to perform cataract surgeries on more than 500 Jamaicans at KPH. The mission extends to April 27.
  • Senior Medical Officer (SMO) at the hospital, Dr. Natalie Whylie, said that while the mission is focused on performing surgeries, the training component exists to ensure that the work will continue after the team has left.

The Bright Journey Medical Mission will be training staff of the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) in new technology to ensure the sustainability of the work being undertaken by the team from China.

The 50-member team, comprising ophthalmologists, nurses, and technical support staff, including biomedical engineers, arrived in Jamaica on March 27 to perform cataract surgeries on more than 500 Jamaicans at KPH. The mission extends to April 27.

Senior Medical Officer (SMO) at the hospital, Dr. Natalie Whylie, said that while the mission is focused on performing surgeries, the training component exists to ensure that the work will continue after the team has left.

“The technical team, nurses, doctors and technicians are working alongside our KPH team. There is that exchange of information and technical expertise so that at the end of this mission, the gift of the Chinese people to the Jamaican people will be sustainable,” she noted, while addressing a recent JIS Think Tank.

“We are training trainers because the Opthalmology Department is an important site of postgraduate training. We are part of the Doctor of Medicine programme of the University Hospital of the West Indies, so as we work alongside our Chinese counterparts, we will, in turn, continue that training, and as a result, the gift of the mission will continue,” she added.

The SMO said that the ophthalmology clinic, which is the largest at KPH, “is one of the jewels in our crown, attending to over 200 patients daily”.

She noted that there is a designated operating theatre and a well-trained team that is responsible for delivering eye care to the Jamaican people.

Dr. Whylie said that the KPH, which is an institution of training, is proud to be hosting the Bright Journey mission for the second time in four years.

“We are actively involved in the training of different categories of health workers such as medical and nursing students, and pharmacy, physiotherapy and dietary (students),” she noted.

“We are also involved in the training of postgraduate residents in all of the medical and surgical disciplines, including ophthalmology,” she added.

The Bright Journey Medical Mission first visited Jamaica in 2015. It is part of a commitment that was made by Chinese President Xi Jinping to CARICOM leaders in 2013, to expand public health cooperation with Caribbean countries.