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  • He said that the country has benefited tremendously from such partnerships, noting the overseas missions “that either come to Jamaica or are here collaborating with others to champion particular causes in the interest of the health and wellness of our population”.
  • Dr. Tufton welcomed the mobile dental clinic, noting that it will enhance service in an underserved area of the public health system.
  • In addition to free dental clinics, the programme benefits from health missions by dentists and volunteers from the United States and Canada.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, has emphasised the importance of partnerships in the delivery of quality health services to Jamaicans.

He said that the country has benefited tremendously from such partnerships, noting the overseas missions “that either come to Jamaica or are here collaborating with others to champion particular causes in the interest of the health and wellness of our population”.

“Indeed, on an average year, we get anywhere between 200 missions… persons taking time out of their busy schedules to ensure that our people get access to quality healthcare at what could have been a considerable cost if sourced elsewhere. The Government wholeheartedly welcomes these kinds of partnerships,” he said.

Minister Tufton was speaking at the official launch of a mobile dental bus under the 1000 Smiles programme, at the Anglican Church Hall in Lucea on November 7.

The bus will enhance the provision of oral care to residents in rural parishes under the volunteer dental programme, which involves collaboration among the United States-based non-profit, Great Shape Inc.; the Rotary Club of Lucea; and the Sandals Foundation.

Dr. Tufton welcomed the mobile dental clinic, noting that it will enhance service in an underserved area of the public health system.

He said data indicate that “a lot more needs to be done” in terms of oral care coverage, and pledged that the Ministry will “leave no stone unturned” to ensure that there is improvement in this regard.

He noted that there are 89 dentists, 89 dental nurses, and 88 dental clinics in the public health space, serving somewhere in the region of 300,000 patients each year.

Since 2003, more than 250,000 Jamaicans in St. Mary, St. Ann, Trelawny, St. James, Hanover, Westmoreland, and St. Elizabeth have benefited from 1000 Smiles.
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In addition to free dental clinics, the programme benefits from health missions by dentists and volunteers from the United States and Canada.

The initiative also facilitates training for dental students and donation of equipment to improve the capacity of healthcare facilities.