Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the COVID-19 pandemic has taught a crucial lesson, that regular health checks prevent deaths and long-term injuries.
The Minister, who was delivering the keynote address at an adoption ceremony for the recently opened Brown’s Hall Health Centre in St. Catherine, on December 2, said the global health challenge brought on by the coronavirus has also highlighted the need for primary healthcare facilities to be within reach of communities.
“It is so important that the primary healthcare infrastructure in our country maintains it credibility as a crucial part of driving the prevention message, and COVID has said to us, if we don’t prevent non-communicable illnesses, it is going to be a lot more difficult to cure,” Dr. Tufton told the audience.
The Minister emphasised that the prevention message must be heeded, as many deaths from COVID-19, and other health issues, could have been prevented.
He lauded the owners of Kemteck Development and Construction Limited, and Omni Industries Limited, for adopting the health centre and for contributing the $35 million to build the centre.
Dr. Tufton said there was a need for the facility, and the coming together of the two entities and the Ministry to establish the centre, represents the best “manifestation” of partnership for public health.
“This is a big achievement, and Brown’s Hall will be healthier for it. Brown’s Hall will be better, and it is what the partnership in public health reflects and requires in the days and years to come,” the Minister said, adding that more than 2,000 persons from the immediate communities are benefiting from the centre.
Meanwhile, Managing Director of Kemteck, Sylvester Tulloch, said the community was the “springboard that propelled us to go on to greater things”, hence his decision to help with funding to build the centre. He also informed that a group in the diaspora is raising money to help with its upkeep.
For his part, Director at Omni Industries, Von Whyte, said that as children, the community was there for them, and “molded us into the men we are today”.
“Embrace your new centre, and do your part in ensuring that it will be around to serve many generations to come,” Mr. Whyte told the gathering.