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Minister of Health and Environment, Rudyard Spencer, has expressed gratitude to the United States (US) Government, for its determination to give, despite the difficult times.
The Minister was speaking at a recent ground breaking ceremony, for the construction of a medical clinic in the Oak Glades community of Greenwich Town in South West St. Andrew.
“This event is another display of the spirit of friendship and goodwill that the Government and the people of the USA continue to demonstrate in many corners of the world,” he stated, noting that, “it takes moral integrity, extraordinary sincerity to keep giving to others at a time of global uncertainty and great challenges. We are all aware of the severe economic decline but notwithstanding that, the USA continues to give because they understand the importance of helping the poor and marginalised.”
The approximately 3,800 square foot pre-engineering metal building will be constructed at a cost of US$600,000. It will provide needed health services to residents of Greenwich Town, Rose Town, Whitfield Town and adjoining communities. The Type 3 health facility will offer personal health services, as well as dental, family health and pharmaceutical services.
US Ambassador to Jamaica, Brenda LaGrange-Johnson, who was also present at the ceremony, expressed her pleasure in being able to represent the US Government in the project.
“The building is being provided to the Ministry of Health and the Government of Jamaica, as part of the US Embassy’s continuing partnership with all of you to enhance Jamaica’s efforts to provide health services for its citizens,” she told the gathering. “It is going to provide a needed service to the local community,” she added.
In the meantime, Chief US Military Liaison for the Miami-based US Southern Command Headquarters (SOUTHCOM), Colonel Eric Valentzas, said that the project forms part of the Humanitarian Assistance Programme (HAP). The humanitarian assistance missions and programmes, he explained, are a part of the US’ efforts to enhance security and stability in the Caribbean as well as Central and South America.
“The command constantly manages a series of humanitarian assistance programmes as well as disaster preparedness and disaster response programmes from the construction of clinics, disaster relief warehouses, emergency operation centres, shelters, wells and other projects,” he informed.
In total, he noted, US$2 million will be spent on projects in Jamaica. This includes two buildings – a warehouse and emergency operation centre – which were donated to the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, (ODPEM) and a disaster relief warehouse, which is to be constructed in Lucea, Hanover at a cost of US$450, 000.