Gov’t Committed To Providing Quality Maternal And Neonatal Care

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, has reaffirmed the Government’s pledge to provide top quality treatment and care for expectant mothers and newborns in Jamaica.
  • The contracts fall under the J$3 billion (€22 million) Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC), funded by the European Union (EU), which is aimed at reducing the incidence of neonatal and maternal deaths.
  • The Minister noted that an $85.5 million contract was previously awarded for the purchase of six ambulances under this component of the programme.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, has reaffirmed the Government’s pledge to provide top quality treatment and care for expectant mothers and newborns in Jamaica.

In demonstration of its commitment, the Government on Tuesday (November 3) signed contracts valued at $253 million with several entities for the design and equipping of maternal and neonatal high dependency units (HDUs) in hospitals and health centres across the island.

“The fact that we are (signing) the contracts for the design of maternal and neonatal high dependency units is the clearest indication of the action I initiated, on taking over the health portfolio, to reduce the maternal and child mortality rates,” the Minister said  during the signing ceremony held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston.

The contracts fall under the J$3 billion (€22 million) Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC), funded by the European Union (EU), which is aimed at reducing the incidence of neonatal and maternal deaths.

The aim of this component of the programme is to expand and improve the quality of care for premature infants and high-risk pregnant women.

“I believe that this (undertaking) will result in a major shift in how we manage neonates and pregnant women and will result in significant improvements in these areas.  This is just the start of much more to come through PROMAC,” Dr. Ferguson said.

During the event, contracts valued at over $61 million were signed for the design of maternal and neonatal HDUs at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, the Spanish Town and St. Ann’s Bay Regional hospitals; and the Victoria Jubilee, Mandeville Regional and Cornwall Regional hospitals.

In addition, a $13.53 million contract was signed for design services for four primary care centres – Savanna-la-Mar, St. Jago Park, Mandeville Comprehensive and Annotto Bay health centres; and two community hospitals – Alexandria and Chapelton.

Another contract, valued at $95.5 million was also signed for the procurement of equipment for the Mandeville Regional Hospital’s neonatal HDU; as well as for the purchase of ambulances.

The Minister noted that an $85.5 million contract was previously awarded for the purchase of six ambulances under this component of the programme.

In her remarks, Head, Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica, Ambassador Paola Amadei, said the signing of the contracts marks another important step in advancing the goals of PROMAC.

“This event is not just important in relation to the cycle of the project, but in a wider context, in supporting the worldwide efforts in attaining the targets set under the Millennium Development Goals which are completing their cycles this year,” she said.

She noted that from the moment the MDGs were conceived, “Jamaica has already made good strides in infant, child and maternal mortality.”

Under PROMAC, the country, within the next three years, will be equipped with state-of-the-art neonatal and maternal HDUs, and training will also be provided for staff who will be working in these areas.

The objectives of PROMAC include reducing the incidence of neonatal deaths due to inadequate access to high dependency care; and reducing the incidence of maternal deaths due to inadequate access to emergency obstetric care.

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