JIS News

Some 1,200 residents of Springfield and surrounding communities on (Jan. 24) benefited from free health checks as the Organisation for International Development’s (OID) annual medical mission stopped in St. James.
At a clinic held at the Springfield Baptist Church, dental, optical, pediatric and other services were provided.
The 45-member team, which includes board certified dentists, ophthalmologists, pediatricians and internists, in addition to local and overseas-based volunteers, is scheduled to visit some six parishes, bringing health and wellness to thousands of citizens. The team arrived in the island on January 20 and is scheduled to depart January 28.
Chief Executive Officer of the Cornwall Regional Hospital and member of OID, Everton Anderson, told JIS News that the health intervention provides the opportunity for citizens to access free and specialized health care.
He said that Jamaicans have benefited greatly from the annual medical mission and “based on the turn out today, one can see that the numbers have grown over last year and the impact of the community has really been tremendous, as people are accessing health care freely and are learning about various health conditions at the same time”.
“I think this is really a very good programme,” he added, noting that, “wherever the programme goes, the residents will benefit because any opportunity that one gets to access health care is good and these personnel are trained and experienced professionals.”
President of OID and Registered Nurse, Gloria Stephens, told JIS News that the medical team was visiting Jamaica for the third time.
She explained that, “when we started out first, we could see families with great medical deficiencies and who didn’t know how to manage their diabetes and their high blood pressure. When we see these situations, we felt that one time was not good enough, and that’s why we come back again and again until we feel that people have learnt enough where they can maintain and manage on their own.”
Registered Nurse and a Jamaican member of the OID team, Ena Wright, said that it was a pleasure to be a part of the process to give back to the country, especially to those most in need.
“We work in the underserved areas of Jamaica where we focus on medical needs. It’s a delight to always serve people, who are not always able to do enough for themselves. We are very fortunate to be able to do this and it’s just a part of giving back,” Nurse Wright said.
Wesley Fowles a member of the local organizing committee and community stalwart, noted that the medical team has impacted positively on the entire community of Springfield and adjoining areas such as Hampton, Hopeton, Burnt Ground, Sunderland, Point, Spring Gardens, Summer Hill, Maroon Town, Providence and Kensington. “The medical mission was most effective. This health mission is helping the communities, and I hope it will continue to touch lives in positive ways,” she said.
The OID health mission was started by Jamaican Dr. Roy Streete in New York in 1991. Over the years, the work of the medical team has received strong support from Jamaicans at home and abroad, including the donation of a mobile clinic costing some $12.5 million by Vincent HoSang, a Jamaican businessman based in Bronx, New York. The health mission also offers its services in the wider Caribbean and Africa.

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