JIS News

Residents of Silent Hill and surrounding communities in north Clarendon have benefited from a range of health services provided by a medical team from the Organization for International Development (OID) and Caribbean Outreach, which are based in the United States.
At a health fair held on Tuesday (Jan.17) at the Silent Hill community centre, the medical team, comprised of more than 50 doctors, nurses and dental care assistants, provided free paediatric, podiatric, obstetric and gynaecology, optical, and dental care for the residents, in addition to general health education. They were assisted by some 17 students from the Northern Caribbean University.
President of the OID, Kitson Blissett told JIS News that his organization “works to bring services to the community whether the community has the proper facilities or not. In fact what we try to do is go into communities where there aren’t proper facilities”.
“Our members are mostly Jamaicans living overseas, even though we have recruits from America and Africa, but mostly Jamaicans. It’s an organization of Jamaicans who really feel the need to come and help their country after migrating. It’s just us helping ourselves,” he emphasized.
OID is based in the Bronx, New York and the medical team visits Jamaica twice a year. There are also medical missions to Grenada, St. Lucia, Caricou, the Grenadines, Ghana, and Ethiopia. This visit to Jamaica is the organization’s 29th such mission to the island.
In addition to Clarendon, the medical mission, visited Accompong town in St. Elizabeth on January 14 and will be in western Jamaica for the rest of the week, where they will serve residents in communities in St. James and Hanover, in addition to distributing eyeglasses, eye medications, toothpaste and toothbrushes and colouring books, and crayons for the children.
Meanwhile, Mr. Blissett informs that the team hoped to bring into the island, a mobile medical unit, which would provide dental care, obstetrics, gynaecology and x-ray services. It would also be equipped with a self-contained bathroom for females, generate its own power and air pressure, and have a vacuum system.
“This unit, with all its attachments, will let us bring services into remote areas. We have another mission to Jamaica in June and hope that the unit will be available before we return. One of the problems that we have is that when we go to a site, it takes a long time to set up and this will lessen the time. The unit will also be used to support other non-government organizations .when our team is not around,” he explained further.
The unit is now in New York awaiting the proper clearances from the Ministries of Health and Finance and Planning. “We’ve had great help coming in from the Ministry of Health in clearing our equipment and medication and they’ve always been very supportive of our efforts,” Mr. Blissett told JIS News.
Bridgette Dixon, a resident of Silent Hill, welcomed the services provided by the visiting medical team. “I think it’s very good”, she said.
She added, “there are a number of times when people aren’t able to afford the cost for medication and this really helps them. I got my teeth cleaned. I think that Silent Hill is a good location and I think that the people are very appreciative of the effort. I want to publicly say thank you to the OID for their second trip to Silent Hill.”

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