JIS News

A gift of 6,825 blood bags and 60 suction machines, valued at US$61,624, or close to J$5.5million, were handed over to Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer today (November 27).
The machines and blood bags were presented to the Minister by Food for the Poor, at an official handing over ceremony at the relief agency’s Ellerslie Pen office, Spanish Town, St. Catherine.
Mr. Spencer said that he was grateful to Food for the Poor for “stepping up” to lend assistance in this area of need, pointing out that with the donation of the blood bags, the Ministry could continue its drive to encourage more persons to donate blood.
He stated that he was even more appreciative of the donation, given the fact that a shortage of blood bags at the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) was recently given a lot of media attention.
The new suction machines, which are critical pieces of equipment used in the wards and operating theatres for aspirating fluids from the mouth and airways, would also help to further improve care in the public health system, and enable access to quality and affordable service to Jamaicans.
Mr. Spencer said that the Government has been working towards improving the healthcare system, by providing additional equipment and supplies needed at health facilities.
“One of the things that we have committed ourselves to doing, is to ensure that any equipment that comes into our facilities also have maintenance contracts. We are adamant about this, because a lot of our equipment are sitting (idle) in hospitals needing repairs,” he added.
He said that the Ministry of Health is currently in the process of doing an inventory, which will commence at the Kingston Public Hospital in Kingston.
He also urged private sector organisations and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), which are not yet on board, to partner with the Government as it works toward improving health care services to all Jamaicans.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Food for the Poor, Ryan Peralto, explained that the blood bags were procured through AmeriCares, a United States-based medical assistance charitable organisation, and that Food for the Poor’s Florida office sourced the suction machines.
He noted that it continues to be a source of amazement, how willing people are to come to the aid of Jamaica when there is a crisis, and how Food for the Poor’s goodwill has been able to translate into rapid and tangible help in times of need.
Food for the Poor, an inter-denominational relief and development organisation working in 16 countries in the Caribbean and Central America, provides food, housing, health care, education, water projects, micro-enterprise development assistance, and emergency relief to the poorest within the societies where it operates.

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