JIS News

Hundreds of adults and children from Lottery, and surrounding communities in St. James, recently benefitted from three days of free health care, under an initiative between the Ministry of Health and the United States military.
“Beyond the Horizon”, was carried out by the United States Southern Command, and included assistance as well as construction and renovation projects, designed to promote co-operation between the United States and Jamaica.
The health clinic which operated at the Lottery All Age School from April 21 to 23, formed part of a 10-day sojourn in St. James by members of the United States Southern Command Medical team.
Simultaneously similar free health clinics were held at the Albion Primary and Junior High School in Montego Bay, and at Retrieve All Age School.
The military team at the Lottery fair comprised some 35 persons inclusive of five general practitioners, a dentist, an optometrist and other support personnel.
In an interview with JIS News, commanding officer in charge of the operation, Colonel Michael Mangen said, “We see on the average probably around 100 to 120 optometry patients per day, the dental patients we see anywhere from 40 to about 60 and general medicine patients we see about 250 maybe even more than that.”
He informed that persons were also able to access prescription medicine at the pharmacies set up at each location. Additionally, patients were given referral letters to take to their local clinics and hospitals for follow-up checks to be done by their physicians.
The initiative has not gone unappreciated by the residents.
“We have had people come back and give us fruits out of their farms just to say thank you, so it has been very heart warming for us to come into these communities…and so we have come away with a great appreciation for the Jamaican people,” Colonel Mangen remarked.
“Some of the recommendations that we will have when we go back home and talk to our superiors is to recommend that services like dental and optometry are increased, those are where we see the greatest need, so we really want to push to see if we can get some of those providers back,” he informed.

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