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High- Risk Expecting Mothers and Newborns Will Soon Benefit from the St. Annís Bay Hospital High Dependency Units

0 | 2018-05-16 15:39:00

The construction of High Dependency Units (HDUs) at the St. Annís Bay Hospital will improve the quality of care for scores of premature infants and high-risk pregnant women.

A High Dependency Unit (HDU) provides an intermediate level of care between that which is available on a general ward and that in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Mothers and neonates with life-threatening injuries, illnesses including severe infections will benefit.

The official ground-breaking ceremony is to take place on Thursday, May 17, 2018. Minister of Health, Dr. Christopher Tufton and European Union Ambassador to Jamaica, Malgorzata Wasilewska, are keynote and guest speakers respectively. The HDUs at St. Annís Bay Hospital are the first to be introduced across five referral hospitals in Jamaica under the Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC). PROMAC is funded by the European Union and managed by the Ministry of Health under the supervision of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) which serves as the National Authorizing Officer for the project.

The JMD $230 million development at the St. Annís Bay Hospital, includes a Neonatal HDU with 8 beds, including two Neonatal Isolation suites, Maternal HDU with 5 beds, including Maternal Isolation suite. The facility will be equipped with highly specialized radiographic technology, digital computerized radiographic imaging systems, critical care ventilators and specialized patient monitoring equipment. M & M Jamaica Limited was awarded the contract to undertake the construction project, which is scheduled to be completed within 12 months.

Among PROMACís key objectives is improvement in Newborn and Emergency Obstetric Care. The project will establish a total of nine new maternal and neonatal HDUs at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Cornwall Regional Hospital, Spanish Town Hospital, St. Annís Bay Hospital, and the Bustamante Hospital for Children. This involves a total of 65 HDU beds (22 maternal and 43 neonatal including isolation suites) and the supply of specialized maternal and neonatal hospital equipment to support the HDUs island-wide.

During the 2017/18 fiscal year civil works contracts have been awarded for the construction projects at all five referral hospitals valued at a total of $ JMD 1.1 billion. The delivery of specialized equipment to adequately support the HDUs and primary health care referral systems including ambulances is in progress.

The Government of Jamaica (GoJ) and the European Union executed a Financing Agreement in 2013 to support the development of PROMAC as well as Jamaicaís efforts to reduce child mortality and to improve maternal health. The Programme is aimed at reducing deaths attributable to high-risk factors for mother and child by the establishment of HDUs at health care facilities with specialist equipment and health human resources dedicated to their care.

The European Union, and the Government of Jamaica through PROMAC, remain committed to continuously improve the quality of maternal and neonatal care across health institutions in the country.

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