The Government is redoubling its efforts to ensure that members of the disabled community have greater access to health facilities and services.
To this end, Health Minister, the Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, has informed that healthcare workers in all health regions are receiving training to equip them with skills to better serve persons with disabilities.
"Thus far, 146 workers have been trained. The country has a responsibility, as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. How we treat the disabled, the elderly and children in our society is a strong signal of our level of development and our value as a nation,” he said, during the official re-opening of the Port Morant health centre in St Thomas, on May 3.
The renovation was funded by the National Health Fund (NHF), at a cost of over $5 million, and is part of the NHF-financed $300 million rehabilitation of primary healthcare infrastructure programme initiated by the Ministry of Health.
The scope of work included relocation and renovation of the pharmacy, expansion of public health inspectors’ offices, renovation of storage area, painting of the facility and ceiling repair.
In the meantime, the Health Minister is appealing to Jamaicans to practise healthy lifestyles as a means of preventing the onset of non-communicable diseases.
"I am appealing to everyone to make changes to your own eating habits to include foods containing low amounts of salt, sugar and fat, and to begin a programme of exercise if you have not already started,” he said.
The Minister said such positive lifestyle changes can reduce the level of non-communicable diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter