JIS News

Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, broke ground for the construction of the Block J male and female wards, at the Mandeville Regional Hospital, Manchester on Friday (December 17).
“The construction of Block J will help us to improve the quality of our services in obstetrics and fertility management. The additional space that will be afforded from the construction of the ward, will contribute to a reduction in cross infections from overcrowding, particularly in the nursery,” the Minister said.
He noted that maternal mortality has been reduced from 120 per 100,000 births in 1990 to just over 88 per 100,000 births using 2006 figures. However, staffing and training will have to accompany expansion to achieve the 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to reduce the maternal mortality ratio and infant mortality.
“It will require considerable investment in terms of human resources, both in terms of numbers and training and in some areas of the physical plant, to meet these goals by 2015,” Mr. Spencer said.
He stated that the data presented opportunities to enhance clinical interventions in medical obstetric care, and to improve in the area of fertility management.
“At the level of the Ministry, we are engaged in a process of examining options to strengthen the delivery of sexual and reproductive health services to reduce child mortality, improve maternal health and reduce the prevalence of sexual transmitted infections,” the Minister said.
He told the gathering that it is important that the staff at health facilities realize that, the work done at the level of the field unit has implications for the country’s performance nationally, and how it is compared with other jurisdictions, internationally.
“Our health workers are working in less than ideal conditions; I know too that some of our patients can be difficult, however, we have an obligation to provide care in a manner that shows respect for the dignity of people. On that, we cannot compromise,” he said.
The contract for the hospital expansion is valued at $135.2 million, and will involve the renovation of a two-storey structure. On the ground floor will be two medical wards, a treatment room and accommodation for a nurse’s station and for doctors on call. The second floor will contain the fertility management unit, a neonatal ward and nursery and an operating theatre for obstetrics.