JIS News

Story Highlights

  • A mobile wellness clinic, which was implemented by the Clarendon Health Department as part of its wellness programme, has now extended its services to the parish of St. Catherine.
  • Parish Manager for the Clarendon Health Department, Michael Bent, told JIS News that the clinic began visiting St. Catherine in April this year, and to date at least six visits have been made, with an average of 20 persons benefiting from each visit.
  • Mr. Bent said visits have been made to the communities of Homestead, Tryall Heights, Lime Tree Grove, Ensom City and to the Old Harbour area twice.

A mobile wellness clinic, which was implemented by the Clarendon Health Department as part of its wellness programme, has now extended its services to the parish of St. Catherine.

Parish Manager for the Clarendon Health Department, Michael Bent, told JIS News that the clinic began visiting St. Catherine in April this year, and to date at least six visits have been made, with an average of 20 persons benefiting from each visit.

Mr. Bent said visits have been made to the communities of Homestead, Tryall Heights, Lime Tree Grove, Ensom City and to the Old Harbour area twice.

In addition, two more visits have been planned for the communities of Troja and Riversdale on August 26 and 27, respectively.

He said these visits have been made possible through collaboration with the Social Development Commission (SDC) Office in Old Harbour, noting that services would be offered in St. Catherine at least once per month for the remainder of the year.

Mr. Bent pointed out that the wellness programme is operated in the parishes of Manchester, Clarendon and St. Elizabeth, which comprised the Southern Regional Health Authority.

“We’re looking to go as far as Kingston and St. Ann by early next year. Wherever the needs are, we are willing to expand our services,” he said.

Mr. Bent noted that the clinic offered tests for hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases, anaemia, obesity and cholesterol. A physical examination by a doctor and nutritional counselling are also provided. There is a cost of $1,000 per visit.

Mr. Bent explained that the wellness concept involved health preventive measures through nutrition and testing, to reduce the risk of some of those chronic lifestyle diseases.

He said the wellness concept was implemented in Jamaica in 1998, with assistance from the Japanese Government. The programme is now fully funded by the Government of Jamaica, but technical assistance is still being provided by the government of Japan.

Mr. Bent said the programme has been particularly successful in Clarendon, with a number of communities already benefiting from the mobile clinic. Many returning residents utilize the services of the fixed clinic.