The Ministry of Health is currently exploring the use of the drug, Herberport-P, which is manufactured in Cuba, as a new option for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers that would reduce the number of amputations in patients.
During a press briefing, held yesterday at the Ministry of Health, downtown Kingston, Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, informed that the drug can help close to 2,000 persons who visit clinics suffering from foot ulcers.
“The proposal is for the treatment of about 500 patients over a six-month period during the pilot phase. Jamaica and indeed other developing countries must explore opportunities for strengthening partnerships with the private sector and with our own government, in an effort to strengthen health systems and improve service delivery. This is what this government is doing,” Mr. Spencer said.
The Minister also informed that the Ministry has requested the assistance of about 81 medical practitioners from Cuba to work in Jamaica’s health care system. These medical practitioners will include family physicians, general surgeons, paediatricians, accident and emergency consultants and orthopaedic surgeons.
“We are also expanding the programme to develop our capacity in nephrology. We are going to focus on training more of our nurses in this area of expertise, having regard to the increasing demand for dialysis services,” Mr. Spencer said.
In the meantime, Mr. Spencer informed that a new bilateral agreement with Cuba is expected to come into effect by July 1, 2011.
The new agreement will focus on the continued rehabilitation of equipment across the country’s health facilities, the establishment of preventive maintenance schedules and on the job training for biomedical staff.
“Cuba continues to be a great partner for us in health and we are confident that this partnership will significantly redound to the benefit of the Jamaican people,” Mr. Spencer said.
CONTACT: LATONYA LINTON