JIS News

Executive Director of Versan Educational Services, Sandra Bramwell-Riley, has pledged to assist persons afflicted with kidney problems stemming from diabetic complications, and living in the parishes of St. Mary, Portland and St. Thomas, by offering them the services of a mobile dialysis unit.
Mrs. Bramwell-Riley told JIS News that the mobile unit is expected to become operational by June, and should help diabetics residing in the eastern parishes from having to journey far distances to Kingston to seek medical treatment at either the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) and the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH). Both hospitals offer dialysis services to patients.
She pointed out that the establishment of the mobile unit forms part of the ‘Hopie’ Fund, which will be launched tomorrow (Wednesday, February 15), at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.The Hopie Fund has been established in memory of her sister, Althea Bramwell, who died in 2004 as a result of diabetic complications.
Mrs. Bramwell-Riley said her sister returned to Jamaica from the United States where she lived, and was undergoing dialysis treatment at KPH. While at the hospital, she said her late sister “thought that one of the things she wanted to do was to assist the poor in offsetting the cost for dialysis treatment”.
The Executive Director informed that the Fund’s main objectives would be to raise funds to get the mobile unit operational and accessible to the poor, who could not afford dialysis treatment, and to help maintain existing dialysis centres in Jamaica at KPH, UHWI, and Cornwall Regional Hospital.
Immediately following the official launch of the Fund, a seminar to raise awareness about dialysis, is to be hosted by Dr. Eli Friedman, a US-based leading expert on dialysis and inventor of the ‘suitcase dialysis’. Doctors, medical students and nurses are invited to attend Dr. Friedman’s seminar titled, ‘Pandemic Diabetic Neuropathy’.
Mrs. Bramwell-Riley informed that a fund-raising concert would also be staged on April 8 at the National Arena.
“We also have a lot of overseas nationals who are interested in supporting the ‘Hopie’ Fund, so we have a base in Connecticut, because my sister actually was from Connecticut and worked with the health administration there, so we have a Secretariat there and one in New York and one in England,” she said.
She further noted that several fund-raising events were planned for the year after the concert in April, to continue raising funds to keep the dialysis centres as well as the mobile unit up and running.
Mrs. Bramwell-Riley stressed that the work to be carried out by the mobile dialysis unit was not intended to overlap with the Diabetes Foundation.

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