Diaspora group donates breathing machines to 12 hospitals across Jamaica

Executive Director of the Health for Life and Wellness Foundation in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Courtney Cephas (right), looks at one of the 14 Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BPAP) machines donated to 12 hospitals by the Jamaicans Abroad Helping Jamaicans at Home (JAHJAH) Foundation, while Chief Executive Officer of the JAHJAH, Dr. Trevor Dixon (second right), points out the features. Others pictured (from left) are Accident and Emergency Consultant at the Kingston Public Hospital, Dr. Hugh Wong; and Assistant Director of Nursing at the United States (US)-based Montefiore Medical Centre, Coleen Robinson-Cobblah. (Photo: Michael Sloley, JIS)

Twelve hospitals across the island have received medical equipment valued at more than $2 million for the treatment of patients with conditions that impair their breathing.

The 14 Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BPAP) machines, donated by the Jamaicans Abroad Helping Jamaicans at Home (JAHJAH) Foundation, were presented to the institutions during a ceremony at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday (January 21).

BPAP supplies pressurised air into the airways to open the lungs, thereby making breathing easier. It is beneficial for patients suffering from sleep apnoea, and respiratory conditions such as pneumonia and asthma.

The beneficiary institutions are the Black River Hospital, St. Elizabeth; Spanish Town Hospital, St. Catherine; Cornwall Regional Hospital, St. James; Kingston Public Hospital, Kingston; May Pen Hospital, Clarendon; Mandeville Regional Hospital and Percy Junior Hospital, Manchester; St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital, St. Ann; Falmouth Hospital, Trelawny; Princess Margaret Hospital, St. Thomas; Savanna-la-Mar Hospital, Westmoreland; and the National Chest Hospital, St. Andrew.

Assistant Director of Nursing at the United States (US)-based Montefiore Medical Centre, Coleen Robinson-Cobblah (second left), presents a Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BPAP) machine to Medical Officer at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St. James, Dr. Carldine Cameron (left). Looking on (from right) are Executive Director of the Health for Life and Wellness Foundation in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Courtney Cephas; and Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaicans Abroad Helping Jamaicans at Home (JAHJAH) Foundation, Dr. Trevor Dixon. The JAHJAH Foundation handed over 14 machines to 12 hospitals, during a ceremony at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday . (Photo: Michael Sloley, JIS)

Accident and Emergency Consultant at the Kingston Public Hospital, Dr. Hugh Wong, expressed gratitude, noting the machines will go a long way in the management of patients with acute respiratory illnesses.

“With the BPAP machines, we will decrease the number of patients who require intensive care,” he said.

Senior Medical Officer at the National Chest Hospital, Dr. Terry Baker, pointed out that the equipment is useful for patients who have underlying medical conditions that can affect the heart.

“It has proven to reduce the need for intensive care unit (ICU) admission without compromising the care of patients,” she noted.

Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaicans Abroad Helping Jamaicans at Home (JAHJAH) Foundation, Dr. Trevor Dixon (centre), shares a photo opportunity with representatives of the 12 hospitals, which were presented with Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BPAP) machines, at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday. (Photo: Michael Sloley, JIS)

Chief Executive Officer of the JAHJAH, Dr. Trevor Dixon, for his part, said the diaspora group is committed to the development of Jamaica through contributions to health, social services, and education.

“We all want to see a healthy, safe and productive Jamaica,” he said.

JAHJAH is a non-profit organisation that has been participating in the upliftment of Jamaica since 2007.

— JIS