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JIS News

President of the non-profit New York-based Organisation for International Development (OID), Dr. Kitson Blissett, has underscored the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle to prevent diseases.
Dr. Blissett, who is part of an OID medical mission to Jamaica, told JIS News that in addition to the dental, optical, paediatric and general medical services provided to residents in various parishes, one of the key areas highlighted was the importance of “taking charge of your health”.
“That is why our visiting team begin our intervention programmes at the community level by first conducting a public education session, which deals with issues such as proper foot care for the diabetic, obesity, general hygiene and HIV/STI talks,” he said.
Dr. Blissett explained that based on past experience, the OID now realised that it was not enough to just treat general medical conditions as “what was needed for a certain level of sustainability from the ground up”.
“For this tour, I am happy to say that we have a very good mix in terms of specialist doctors, nurses and supporting staff not just from out of New York but also from Jamaica,” he said.
The group arrived in Jamaica on January 13 for its 29th medical mission to Jamaica.
Dr. Roy Streete, OID founder and team leader, told JIS News over the days, some 600 residents of Accompong in St. Elizabeth were treated, in addition to hundreds more in Spanish Town, St. Catherine; Riverton, Kingston; Portland, and Silent Hill in Clarendon, Hanover and St. James.
Dr. Streete said that his organisation has, over the years, worked to reach underserved communities in the Caribbean and Africa. “We come here twice per year and so hopefully, by about June, we should be back in the island for another tour of duty,” he said.
He thanked the support organisations, which sponsored the mission and said that, “by our next visit, we hope to engage a number of other corporate entities and individuals, who have a similar commitment to the helping of the poor and less fortunate.”
“This unit was refurbished and outfitted at a cost of over $12 million and what is good about it is that once we have it, we have less work to do in terms of having to move a lot of medical equipment into different locations, which as you know takes time and then there are the attendant problems such as stable power supply and of course water and up to standard sanitary facilities,” he said.
The OID current touring team is comprised of more than 35 medical specialists, general practitioners as well as support staff.