MONTEGO BAY — Expectant mothers who use the services of the Savanna-la-Mar general hospital in Westmoreland are expected to benefit from a refurbished maternity ward at the facility.
The unit, renovated at a cost of some $5.5 million, was officially opened by the Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, on July 7, 2011.
“The renovation of the labour and delivery unit is an important step in the right direction, as we continue to make moves towards improving child and maternal health,” Minister Spencer said, noting that the opening of the unit was in keeping with Jamaica’s Millennium Goals which are geared at making significant improvements to the maternal and child mortality rates by the year 2015.
Mr. Spencer informed that the scope of work carried out at the facility included the supply and installation of three air conditioning units, waterproofing and tiling of the area, installation of new cupboards, painting of the walls and refurbishing of the patients’ bathrooms.
“This unit stands to benefit the nearly 2,300 women who use the facility each year,” the Minister said, adding that the building was also extended to accommodate a resuscitation area.
He noted that a second X-Ray unit is being installed and that future development plans should see the construction of a new wing at the location.
“The Ministry of Health continues to put resources toward the development of health care in Jamaica and especially in our rural communities. Savanna-la-Mar, like many other similar towns, is fast developing and improvement in health care services will have to move just as fast. This is an example of our effort to ensure that services are in line with the needs of the communities which we serve,” the Minister said.
He commended the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA) for the work they have been doing across the region and thanked all those who were involved in the renovation of the ward.
Meanwhile, Regional Director for the WRHA, Dr. Ken-Garfield Douglas said he was pleased with the work that was carried out at the hospital.
“We are proud of the work that was done to create a safer, more comfortable atmosphere for the delivery of our future sons and daughters. I thank the staff at the hospital for their support in facilitating the renovation of this unit that is safe and healthy and will meet the needs of our expectant mothers,” Dr. Douglas said.
By ALDEEN CAMPBELL, JIS Reporter