JIS News

Not many Jamaicans will soon forget Friday, September 10, 2004. It was the day when the country experienced one of the most devastating hurricanes (Ivan) to hit the island in 16 years.
But there are some eight Jamaican families who will remember the day for another reason. This was the day when the latest additions to their families came into the world.
“We had about six to eight ‘Ivan’ babies born on Friday night and one case where the Ministry of Health representative here on the night, who is a nurse, talked a male neighbour in delivering his neighbour’s baby and was able to do so successfully.
We were able to get her to the hospital after that event. That was one of the most dramatic moments and the mother and child are now safe,” Deputy Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Paul Saunders, told JIS News today.
In preparation for Hurricane Ivan, the ODPEM had assembled a team comprised of specialist agencies and persons with technical knowledge, to provide any assistance that was needed during the period.
The team was put to work providing medical and other technical relief. “We also had a couple of other incidents where persons were ill and could not get through to the hospital because of the blockages on the roads and the Ministry of Health representative was able to offer technical assistance to such persons until they could get to the hospital,” Mr. Saunders informed.
He said the team, which was assembled at the South Camp Road offices of ODPEM, also acted as counsellors for the night.
“Several persons called with concerns about their roofs and the rain coming in. Most of the persons were females living alone and we assured them and encouraged them to seek the help of their neighbours,” he said.

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