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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Government commited to ensuring that Jamaicans enjoy good health and health care services.
  • A number of initiatives that have been implemented by the Health Ministry in furtherance of that goal.
  • Among them is the establishment of a National Paediatric Renal Working Group.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, has underscored the Government’s commitment to ensuring that Jamaicans enjoy their fundamental right to good health and health care services, especially children, whom he describes as the future of the nation.

The Minister, who was addressing a Paediatric Renal Conference and Workshop at the Couples San Souci Hotel in Ocho Rios on October 6, outlined a number of initiatives that have been implemented by his Ministry in furtherance of that goal.

Among them is the establishment of a National Paediatric Renal Working Group that has begun to chart a road map to tackle chronic kidney disease, and a national strategic plan to address the condition in children.

Dr. Ferguson also cited the Tobacco Control Regulations, which are aimed at protecting both children and adults against the ill effects of tobacco smoke, by banning smoking in specified public spaces.

He said the recently imposed regulations represent one of the most far reaching public health measures implemented in decades, the value of which will be more appreciated in years to come.

“I am proud to say that Jamaica is the fourth country in the Caribbean to have such a law, the 45th in the world and the 17th in the Americas. We are very happy about that, but we are signaling that we mean business and that health is not a game,” he stated.

The Health Minister said the feedback from the implementation of the regulations has been “overwhelmingly positive,” noting that the law has enjoyed the most public support of any policy in the country.

“There are a few tweaks that we plan to make to ensure that the implementation is easier, and I expect that those proposals will be before the Cabinet in short order,” he stated.

He stressed that the regulations are not about making criminals of smokers, but must be viewed within the context of the government’s responsibility to ensure healthy living, the “outcome of which will go down to the greater glory of the people of Jamaica”.