JIS News

The Manchester Health Department and the Devon Community Development Committee have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of a health centre in the community.
The facility will be housed at the Devon Community Centre, which was spruced up from a $50,000 grant the community received for placing third in the Best Community Competition about two years ago.
“We used the $50,000 to do the electricity (wiring) and buy our chairs,” informed Secretary of the Devon Community Development Committee, Marlene Smith, at the signing ceremony held on September 3 at the community centre.
“We are using the facility for our club but then we were saying that Devon lacks something…we lack a health centre,” she noted.
Subsequently, a proposal to operate a health facility from the community centre was submitted to the Manchester Health Department.
“We came to an agreement and they came and looked at the facility and I am so happy to say welcome, enjoy the clinic facility, use the clinic facility and do not destroy the facility,” Mrs. Smith urged.
Acting Parish Manager for Manchester Health Services, Stanhope Scott, welcomed the move, noting that Devon once boasted a very active health centre.
“When it was brought to my attention that the community of Devon was willing to provide the accommodation for health services here, I said ‘yes it is great’,” he said.
He noted that, often, people are of the belief that the provision of health care is the sole responsibility of the Government.
“We are proving in Devon that it is not just the responsibility of the Government but more so, a partnership with the community in providing this service,” he said.
Among the services to be provided are antenatal, postnatal and child health care and “we are also looking at the aspects of health promotion,” Mr. Scott said.
Under the agreement, the health team, inclusive of doctors, nurses and orderlies, will utilise the space provided at the community centre three to four times per month between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., with the Devon Community Development Committee to approve any additional days and hours.
The health team is required to organise quarterly workshops to discuss topical health issues and will assist the Community Development Committee in the general maintenance of the centre.
The Community Development Committee is responsible for the provision of electricity to the centre.

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