Expectant Women To Benefit From $39 Million Programme

Photo: Melroy Sterling Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson (right); and Executive Director of the National Family Planning Board (NFPB), Dr. Denise Chevannes-Vogel, engage in light discussion shortly before signing a Memorandum of Understanding (Mou) to undertake a $39 million (€300,000) programme aimed at improving health seeking behaviour among pregnant women. The signing took place during a ceremony held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on November 3. The ceremony also involved the signing of contracts for the design and equipping of maternal and neonatal high dependency units within the public health sector. The signings fall under the $3 billion (€22 million) Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC), funded by the European Union (EU), which is aimed at reducing the incidence of neonatal and maternal deaths in Jamaica.

Story Highlights

  • The National Family Planning Board (NFPB) will embark on a $39 million (€300,000) programme for the improvement of health-seeking behaviour among females, particularly expectant mothers.
  • Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson; and Executive Director of the NFPB, Dr. Denise Chevannes-Vogel, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the undertaking during a ceremony at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday (November 3).
  • The aim is to expand and improve the quality of care for premature infants and high-risk pregnant women.

The National Family Planning Board (NFPB) will embark on a $39 million (€300,000) programme for the improvement of health-seeking behaviour among females, particularly expectant mothers.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson; and Executive Director of the NFPB, Dr. Denise Chevannes-Vogel, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the undertaking during a ceremony at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday (November 3).

The programme is one aspect of the $3 billion (€22 million) Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC), funded by the European Union (EU), which is aimed at reducing the incidence of neonatal and maternal deaths.

The Minister said this component is significant in addressing the issue of women, who are late in accessing antenatal care, which puts them and their babies at risk for complications.

“Under this MoU, we will see the implementation of outreach activities on child and maternal health including nutrition, chronic disease and parenting skills targeting women of reproductive age and parents of children under five,” he said.

During the ceremony, contracts valued at $253 million were also signed with several entities for the design and equipping of maternal and neonatal high dependency units in hospitals and health centres across the island.

The aim is to expand and improve the quality of care for premature infants and high-risk pregnant women.

Under PROMAC, the country, within the next three years, will be equipped with state-of-the-art neonatal and maternal high dependency units, and training will also be provided for staff, who will be working in these areas.

The objectives of PROMAC include reducing the incidence of neonatal deaths due to inadequate access to high dependency care; and reducing the incidence of maternal deaths due to inadequate access to emergency obstetric care.

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