A number of public health centres that fall under the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) are to benefit from infant scales and length boards donated by the Jamaica Women of Washington Association (JWoW).
President of the Washington-based group, Dr. Jacqueline Watson, said the facilities, located in the parishes of St. Catherine, St. Thomas, Kingston, and St. Andrew, would be the organisation’s health project for 2012.
She said that the infant scales and length boards will be used to track height and weight in children, which are important developmental milestones, and play a critical role in promoting overall good health and predicting a child’s readiness to learn.
Dr. Watson informed that since 2002, JWoW has donated over US$275,000 to charities in Washington DC and Jamaica and has brought attention to important public health and social issues such as HIV/AIDS, mental health, substance abuse, obesity prevention, teenage pregnancy prevention, and infant mortality.
“I have had the opportunity to visit many of our grant recipients in Jamaica and to meet firsthand, the citizens, who have benefitted from our efforts,” she stated.
Chargé d’Affaires at the Jamaican Embassy in Washington, Cherryl Gordon, commended the work of JWoW, noting that the organisation is a sterling example of loyalty and service to Jamaica, and is worthy of emulation by other nationals living in the Diaspora.
She said that JWoW continues to live up to its mandate to raise awareness and to provide support to organisations that focus on improving the health and quality of life for vulnerable groups, most notably women, children and families in underserved communities.
Organisations that have benefitted from JWoW’s contributions over the past 10 years include: Caribbean Disability Association, University of the West Indies Development and Endowment Fund, Community for the Upliftment of the Mentally ill, Westmoreland Association of Street People, Children First, St. Ann Community Centre of Concern, Women’s Media Watch, Family and Parenting Centre, Western Society for the Upliftment of Children, Cornwall Regional Hospital, and Health Centres.
Meanwhile, renowned Jamaican entertainer, Orville “Shaggy” Burrell, received a special award from JWoW for his outstanding contribution to the Bustamante Children’s Hospital through the Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation.
The presentation was made at the organisation’s annual award ceremony held on Sunday (June 10) at the Mayflower Hotel, Washington DC.
By Derrick Scott, JIS Reporter (Washington, D.C.)