The Government will continue to upgrade health facilities to reduce neonatal deaths with a $759-million allocation in the 2018/2019 Budget, now before the House of Representatives.
Under the Programme for Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC), designs will be completed for 11 High Dependency Units (HDUs) at six hospitals, as well as procurement of equipment for the HDUs.
Details of the project are outlined in the Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
Other work to be done are the completion of designs for four healthcare facilities and two community hospitals; procurement of laboratory and ultrasound equipment for primary healthcare and community health centres; training of health workers, and research activities; and continuing training for doctors, nurses and other health professionals to support HDUs.
Academic research on the cause and risk factors of premature births will also be undertaken. The Ministry of Health will also carry out national promotional activities for the programme.
The objectives of PROMAC, which is funded by the Government of Jamaica and the European Union (EU), are geared at reducing the incidence of neonatal deaths due to lack of access to high-dependency care, reducing maternal deaths due to lack of access to emergency obstetrics care, improving the quality of management of high-risk pregnancies at both tertiary and primary healthcare facilities.
PROMAC also seeks to improve the population’s approach to maternal and child health, enhance public awareness and understanding of healthcare processes and patients’ rights, and strengthen the institutional capacity of the Ministry and the Regional Health Authorities (RHAs).