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JIS News

The Fruitful Vale Health Centre in Portland, recently rehabilitated by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) at cost of $5 million, was officially handed over to the community yesterday (June 17) .
The project, which was undertaken in collaboration with the North East Regional Health Authority, included replacing the roof, adding new walls and partitions, installing doors and windows, and conducting minor electrical and plumbing works. The building was also painted with perimeter chain-link fencing erected.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony held in the waiting area of the health centre, Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, urged the residents to take care of the facility and to maintain the improvements.
The Minister said that he had contacted the National Water Commission (NWC) to deal with the issue of adequate water supply, and had also arranged for a water tank to be provided for the facility.
“I am pretty confident and hopeful that the (water problems) would be sorted out.that obviously would be a critical part since it doesn’t matter how nice the building is, if you don’t have proper water supply and storage, then that would be an issue,” he said.
Mr. Vaz, who is also the Member of Parliament for West Portland, where the health centre is located, commended officers of the JSIF and the North East Regional Health Authority for their role in the implementation of the project.
Managing Director of JSIF, Mrs. Scarlette Gillings, in her remarks, informed that since 1996, the Fund has repaired and constructed 41 health centres islandwide at a cost of more than $260 million, benefiting some 98,000 persons.
“This is our fifth health centre in this parish benefitting nearly 8,000 persons with a cost of over $20 million,” she said.
Administrator for the North East Regional Health Authority, Mrs. Marcia Whyte, in an interview with JIS News, said that she was extremely happy that the facility was refurbished.
“I can recall days when we have scheduled clinics here, when it rained, when the water would keep pouring in and the attendant had to be mopping every minute because we have a lot of rain in this area,” she stated.
She also noted that the building is much cooler since the replacement and elevation of the roof. “A great job has been done by JSIF and the Ministry of Health and I am really grateful for the work they have done,” she added.
The rehabilitation of the Fruitful Vale Health Centre was undertaken as part of the US$10 million Emergency Recovery Project (ERP), which is being financed by the World Bank.
The ERP, which is being implemented by JSIF, supports the Government of Jamaica in implementing its Sustainable Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Plan.