Health Minister Says Stakeholders Need to Redouble Efforts for MDGs

Photo: Donald De La Haye Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton (second left), examines items included in some of the 150 fully equipped midwifery bags provided under the Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC), at a handover ceremony held at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) on Oxford Road in St. Andrew on May 15. Others (from left) are Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska; Coordinator for PROMAC, Dr. Simone Spence, and Deputy Director General at the PIOJ, Barbara Scott.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says stakeholders need to redouble their efforts for Jamaica to attain the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
  • The Minister said the targets are “realistic” and that the country has made progress and continues to achieve success, adding that greater efforts will “ensure that we meet those targets that we have set ourselves”.
  • “It is about changing lifestyles, changing our approaches, overcoming perceptions, and overcoming some of the attitudes towards pregnancy and child-rearing,” the Minister said.

Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says stakeholders need to redouble their efforts for Jamaica to attain the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The Minister said the targets are “realistic” and that the country has made progress and continues to achieve success, adding that greater efforts will “ensure that we meet those targets that we have set ourselves”.

“It is about changing lifestyles, changing our approaches, overcoming perceptions, and overcoming some of the attitudes towards pregnancy and child-rearing,” the Minister said.

He was addressing a ceremony for the handover of 150 fully equipped midwifery bags provided under the Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC), held at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) on Oxford Road in St. Andrew on May 15.

Sections of the MDGs call for improved access to water and sanitation, driving down child mortality, and improving maternal health.

Minister Tufton told his audience that the PROMAC initiative, which is a €22-million EU grant to Jamaica, is “assisting us in our commitment to meeting those Millennium Development Goals”.

The programme is geared at improving health outcomes for Jamaican mothers through the provision of improved newborn and emergency obstetric care in 11 newly established high dependency units in six hospitals across the island, improvement in primary healthcare services for high-risk pregnancies, and enhanced clinical knowledge and skills of health professionals through improved training programmes.

Head of the EU Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, said the member states are “proud to fund a programme that tackles issues in a comprehensive manner”, demonstrated in giving the newborn a “healthy start”.

The PIOJ has responsibility for the management and administration of all Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the EU to Jamaica, and the agency’s Deputy Director General, Barbara Scott, said the equipment will have a positive impact on the “lives of expectant mothers and the health sector”.

“We have no doubt that based on the progress being made, the programme will meet its development objectives,” she said.

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