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JIS News

Two thousand and seven marks the 17th year that the Organisation for International Development (OID) has been coming to Jamaica to offer free medical services to needy communities across the island.
On Saturday (Jan. 20), the New York-based Jamaican outreach missions group visited the historic maroon village of accompong in St. Elizabeth. Speaking with JIS News, OID Chairman and founder, Dr. Roy Street explained that, “we first started our twice per year visits to Jamaica in 1990 and we have been bringing practitioners in the different areas of medicine, dentistry, nursing, paediatrics and public education. In fact we come to this country twice per year and we also go to other Caribbean islands and Africa.”
Dr. Street noted that, “Accompong, as has been the tradition, is normally our first stop. What is new in our arsenal is this brand new medical bus, which we obtained in New York courtesy of Mr. Vincent Hosang, a Jamaican and the owner of Royal Caribbean Bakery. He donated the unit last year and it houses both a fully equipped dental and medical suite, it is really a blessing to our local efforts,” he said.
“From here we will be moving on to Crofts Hill, Clarendon on Monday (Jan. 22), we will also be at 3D projects as well as Bellevue on that day, then it is Silent Hill the following day. From there we go to Harmons and the Manchester Infirmary on Wednesday,” he disclosed. The current OID team consists of more than 60 persons.
The OID Chairman informed that by Thursday, the team would move over to the parish of St. James. “We will be in Springfield which is the community that our generous benefactor Mr. Hosang hails from and then by the end of the week we will finish off at Maryland in the parish of Hanover,” he said.
Dr. Street noted that the Organisation was always on the lookout for individuals or companies that were, “willing to partner with us in a voluntary capacity, as even looking at the crowd here you can see why we need to have many volunteers present to help with the work that we have to do. We say a big thank you to the communities that are always willing to help put things in place to facilitate us”.
Colonel of Accompong, Sidney Peddie told JIS News that without the annual visit of OID life would be much harder for persons living in the community.
“Today the doctors are here as they have been for many years, we are always anxious and pleased to see them for they are doing a great service and from the level of the maroon council we lend full support as we know that our people have their hearts and souls set on their coming,” he said.
A local resident and tour guide, Kerry-Anne was also upbeat about the visit by the overseas Diaspora group.
“This visit by the doctors and nurses today is very important as there are many persons here who do not have the money to pay for this kind of service which is being provided free so this is a good deal,” she said.
Kerry-Anne pointed out that it was very important for the OID to continue the very good tradition that it had begun many years ago.
“I would always like them to come back because there are so many persons here who are sick and who face so many other challenges so a big thank you to Dr. Street and OID from the people of Accompong,” she said.