JIS News

Residents of the female ward at the Morant Bay Infirmary in St. Thomas have been relocated to another section of the facility, following extensive damage to the ward by Hurricane Ivan.
Secretary/Manager at the St. Thomas Parish Council, Clinton Gordon, told JIS News that the roof and structure of the ward succumbed to the heavy rainfall associated with the hurricane and furniture, beds and items belonging to the residents were also damaged.
The Parish Manager said that none of the inmates were seriously affected because they were quickly moved to a covered section of the infirmary by a team of volunteers who were on stand-by during the hurricane. He added that emergency repairs were also done to the damaged section to block the wind and rain from reaching the inmates.
According to Mr. Gordon refurbishing work on the building was scheduled to begin on Monday (Sept.13). “Surprisingly, we should have started work this morning on refurbishing that part of the infirmary, funded by the Ministry’s Health Fund, but because of the hurricane, we have not started ” he said.
Meanwhile, he said repair work would have to be done to other sections of the building “to keep it dry and the residents comfortable.”
The Health Ministry’s Health Support Fund was established to assist in the upgrading and rehabilitation of infirmaries islandwide following evaluations, which showed inadequate infrastructure and the deterioration of the physical facilities currently housing indigent persons.
A contract valued at some $10.3 million has been signed by the Ministry of Local Government, Community Development and Sport to construct a new female residence at the Morant Bay Infirmary.
Additionally, buildings belonging to the St. Thomas Parish Council, including markets have also suffered damage.
Mr. Gordon said that the roofs of the Roads and Works Division at the Morant Bay parish office and the courthouse had been damaged, causing water to seep into other departments at the council’s office.
However, he said that equipment and documents were not destroyed since these had been secured in anticipation of the heavy rains.
He pointed out that a technical team from the parish council was currently doing an assessment of all buildings belonging to the council to determine the extent of the damage and to prepare a work programme to effect repairs.

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