JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government of Jamaica has launched a $3.3 billion project aimed at improving maternal and child health care in the country.
  • The Programme to Reduce Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC), which is being funded by the European Union (EU), will see significant improvement in the quality of care for expectant mothers and babies.
  • This will boost the country’s ability to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health.

The Government of Jamaica has launched a $3.3 billion project aimed at improving maternal and child health care in the country.

The Programme to Reduce Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC), which is being funded by the European Union (EU), will see significant improvement in the quality of care for expectant mothers and babies.

This will boost the country’s ability to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health.

Speaking at the launch today Wednesday, July 30, at the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s (PIOJ) Oxford Road offices, Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, informed that a specialized team will be trained to deliver “high-contact” care to high-risk maternity cases.

“Over a four-year period, this team will be built, and the necessary infrastructure such as High Dependency Units (HDU), or beds and material resources provided to ensure programme success. Pregnant mothers can rest assured that here is a programme within the public health sector that can cater to their needs in the event that they fall in the high-risk category,” he stated.

Dr. Ferguson stressed that the aim is to reduce the incidence of neonatal deaths due to inadequate access to high dependency care. “Through the infrastructural and equipment initiatives under the programme, we want to see a noticeable expansion of service delivery,” the Minister stated.

Under the project, 11 HDUs will be established in six hospitals across Jamaica to improve newborn and emergency obstetric care.

The HDUs are suited for patients, who require closer observation than those on the general ward, but slightly less than that of an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). It also provides care for post-operative patients needing close observation.