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  • Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the primary focus in healthcare should be the prevention of illnesses.
  • The Minister, who was speaking at an adoption ceremony for the Little London Health Centre in Westmoreland on January 15, said that this is particularly important,considering that more Jamaicans die from lifestyle diseases than from any other causes.
  • “The measure of success in our public health infrastructure is not just in how many hospitals we build or how many operating theatres we have or beds we have but in how effective we are in encouraging and supporting Jamaicans to prevent illnesses, rather than just to cure illnesses,” Dr. Tufton emphasised.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the primary focus in healthcare should be the prevention of illnesses.

The Minister, who was speaking at an adoption ceremony for the Little London Health Centre in Westmoreland on January 15, said that this is particularly important,considering that more Jamaicans die from lifestyle diseases than from any other causes.

“The measure of success in our public health infrastructure is not just in how many hospitals we build or how many operating theatres we have or beds we have but in how effective we are in encouraging and supporting Jamaicans to prevent illnesses, rather than just to cure illnesses,” Dr. Tufton emphasised.

Dr. Tufton said that given the health profile of the population, “we have to do a lot more” to promote the prevention message, especially with statistics showing that most Jamaicans die from diseases,which, in many cases, could have been averted with better lifestyle practices.

He argued that the heart of prevention is in primary healthcare, adding that the adoption of clinics islandwide is basically to encourage communities to give support and to promote the perennial message that “prevention is better than cure”.

The Minister reiterated that the Government will continue to ensure that the process of accountability and transparency remains the cornerstone of the Adopt-A-Clinic programme.

He added that this is particularly important in maintaining credibility and for benefactors to know that their hard-earned money is being put to good use.

“We have to keep the process credible and everyone has to do their part in ensuring that this happens,” the Minister said.

Dr. Tufton pointed out that in keeping with the spirit of transparency, an annual report will be generated to show how donations from businesses are used at the adopted clinics.

The Little London Health Centre has been adopted by the Caribbean Action Network Foundation Initiative (CANFI), whose founder, New York-based attorney,Sandra Smith, is a native of Westmoreland and a past student of Manning’s High School.

The clinic serves an estimated 10,000 residents in a range of primary-care services, taking the pressure off the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital.

It is the fourth such facility to be adopted in the parish, the others being the George’s Plain, Petersfield and Lamb’s River Health Centres.

Under the Adopt-A-Clinic programme, the Ministry has earmarked 100 health centres across the island for support from local and international persons, groups and corporate entities, with the aim of strengthening primary healthcare facilities.

Some 10health centres across the island have now been formally adopted, with 20 more to be announced later this year.

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