The VM Foundation has officially renewed its partnership with the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ Adopt-a-Clinic Programme with a $4.5 million commitment to the St Jago Park Health Centre in St Catherine for the provision of well-needed medical equipment.
The three-year agreement follows the foundation’s 2018 adoption of the clinic, which provided infrastructure repairs, as well as clinical and facility equipment valued at $3 million. This included the provision of an x-ray machine, which has been critical in helping to diagnose varying conditions at the Health Centre, which is the main referral centre for all clinics in St Catherine.
Samantha Charles, CEO, VM Foundation, said the renewed agreement also aims to provide a wellness and education programme for users and staff of the facility. The programme to advance child and maternal wellness, will feature financial health and literacy sessions; provide mentoring for parents; and deliver care and nutrition packages.
“This partnership aligns well with one of the key areas of focus for the VM Foundation, which is to improve health and family life in Jamaica. Our mission is to empower people within our communities, locally and in the diaspora, with transformative programmes,” Charles said, addressing a handover ceremony at the Ministry of Health & Wellness’ New Kingston offices on Thursday (May 5).
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, expressed appreciation for the donation, noting that it will go a far way in supporting the delivery of quality healthcare at the community level.
“We appreciate that you have chosen public health and in particular, primary health care to deliver on a commitment that will help thousands of Jamaicans, in terms of availabilityto health services, diagnostic support and in ensuring that the internal stakeholders – our doctors and nurses, are comfortable,” he said.
He further commended the VM Foundation for being true to its mandate of improving health and family life in Jamaica, and for using a comprehensive approach to holistically impact the users of the facility.
The Adopt-a-Clinic Programme is a strategic initiative of the Ministry of Health and Wellness that seeks to proactively leverage the philanthropic support of the private sector and diaspora to play a more critical role in improving the primary health care system.
Tufton said the programme, launched five years ago, has so far raised over $150 million for primary health care facilities across the country, with over 35 adoptions being completed.