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The University Hospital of the West Indies’ (UHWI) Infection Control Unit is now better equipped to respond to dengue fever and other health-related threats.

The facility has benefited from an injection of $31.7 million from the Universal Service Fund (USF) in the creation of an infection control surveillance system, which will significantly improve the institution’s disease monitoring and management capabilities.

The new system will enable the hospital to streamline all patients’ data through digitisation, have faster access to records, and enable easier sharing of information among authorised medical personnel.

Speaking at the official handover ceremony at the hospital’s Papine location on Wednesday (January 23), Medical Chief of Staff at the facility, Dr. Carl Bruce, said that the infection control surveillance system will enhance efficiency of operations and ensure that health professionals can access information and communicate with their colleagues “on a timely basis”.

He noted that the Infection Control Unit not only serves Jamaicans but other nationals across the region, and, therefore, must function at its optimum.

Chief Executive Officer at UHWI, Kevin Allen, in expressing gratitude, said that the new system “is a vehicle that we are going to be using to help us in caring for clients,” while Head of Microbiology and Chair of the Infection Control Committee, Dr. Allison Nicholson, added that it will allow “for us to quickly shut down any threat of an outbreak of infection”.

Head of Microbiology and Chair of the Infection Control Committee, University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), Dr. Allison Nicholson (left), points out features of the hospital’s new infection control surveillance system to Chief Executive Office of the Universal Service Fund (USF), Daniel Dawes (second left). The system, funded by the USF at a cost of $31.7 million, was officially handed over during a ceremony at the hospital’s location in Papine, St. Andrew, on Wednesday (January 23). Looking on are USF Director of Projects, Kwan Wilson (second right); and Medical Chief of Staff at UHWI, Dr. Carl Bruce.

Chief Executive Officer of the USF, Daniel Dawes, for his part, noted that the investment is in keeping with the agency’s thrust to provide technological support to a wide cross section of sectors as part of the development process.

“We have seen worldwide how technology can facilitate development and assist in achieving targets in education, finance, health and others sectors, and this system will help UHWI to more effectively combat outbreaks of infections and diseases,” Mr. Dawes said.