JIS News

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  • Minister of Education, Youth and Culture, Maxine Henry Wilson has urged persons in leadership positions to provide guidance to members of the wider society on how to access health services.
  • "I would like us as leaders to guide people on how they can help themselves because the government has provided the National Health Fund (NHF), which provides prescription drugs at very minimal cost to persons affected with 14 chronic diseases."
  • Mrs. Henry Wilson encouraged eligible persons to register for the NHF, as it would form part of the wellness outreach of the Ministry of Health.

Minister of Education, Youth and Culture, Maxine Henry Wilson has urged persons in leadership positions to provide guidance to members of the wider society on how to access health services.

“I would like us as leaders to guide people on how they can help themselves because the government has provided the National Health Fund (NHF), which provides prescription drugs at very minimal cost to persons affected with 14 chronic diseases,” she pointed out.

Mrs. Henry Wilson encouraged eligible persons to register for the NHF, as it would form part of the wellness outreach of the Ministry of Health.

“Do not take this for granted but see it as an opportunity, which must be grasped at the outset because there is nothing better than preventative action,” she stressed.

Minister Henry Wilson was speaking recently at the formal launch of the Diabetes Screening and Health Promotion (DSHP) project at the Church of God of Prophecy in Kingston. This project, which is being sponsored at a cost of US$79,000 through the Embassy of Japan, is targeting 4,800 persons in Jamaica.

Various personnel from the implementing agency, the Diabetes Association of Jamaica (DAJ) are to visit 24 health centres around the island administering free full screening tests and health promotion activities. The tests will include electrocardiographical (ECG) tests, chiropody (footcare) services, hypertension, kidney, and blood sugar examinations.

Lauding the DSHP project, the Minister cited human resources, as the best investment in a country. She emphasised that if the nation had healthy people who could function well, then there would be an effective labour environment.

Responding on behalf of the Japanese Embassy, Japanese Councillor, Koichi Kodama expressed confidence that this latest grant would have a bigger impact than the one made in 1999 to provide equipment valued at over US$81,000 to the Diabetes Association of Jamaica. The grant was used to provide eye laser service and ECG services. The latest reports from the DAJ in February 2001 indicated that close to 500 people have benefited from this service.

In addition, Mr. Kodama reassured that this second proposal would improve the health of diabetics across the island and increase Jamaica’s productivity. The Councillor also said, “the government of Japan believes that this project is a unique effort that demonstrates and reinforces the effect of positive synergy between health care and education. I see this programme as not only dealing with care but as facilitating a wide dissemination of the knowledge to enable care.”

Statistics from the Registrar General’s Department show that 1,517 persons died as a result of Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes Mellitus is a group of metabolic disorders with one common manifestation, that of hypoglycemia. Chronic hypoglycemia causes damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels.