“First of its kind” playground in the region to be built in Papine

The Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) will engineer and construct a state-of-the-art inclusive playground at Hope Green in Papine, St. Andrew.

Inclusive Playground
An inclusive playground in Rocklin, California. PM Holness intends to build what would be the Caribbean region’s first inclusive playground in Papine, St Andrew.

Inclusive playgrounds provide a safe place where children of all abilities can play together and include equipment that is developmentally appropriate for children with and without disabilities.            

Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the project is in keeping with the Government’s efforts to enhance access and quality of services to persons with disabilities.

“A true measure of a society is the small actions that we take to change the quality of life of our vulnerable…. This state-of-the-art playground will be the first of its kind in the Caribbean and will set the model to be replicated in other territories,” he noted.

The Minister was making his contribution to the 2020/2021 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Thursday (March 19).

“A true measure of a society is the small actions that we take to change the quality of life of our vulnerable”

— PM Andrew Holness

Additionally, JSIF, in partnership with the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), will construct a therapeutic centre at the Maxfield Park Children’s Home in St. Andrew, which will provide residential inpatient programmes, a day treatment programme, outpatient counselling and psychotherapy services for children in State care and their families.

Scholarships for perfusionists

The Prime Minister also announced that full scholarships are being offered by the Government to train two perfusionists in order to enhance the country’s capacity to facilitate life-saving heart surgeries.

The scholarships will be facilitated through the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports, Education (CHASE) Fund. More details are to be announced in the coming weeks.

Perfusionists are healthcare professionals who operate the cardiopulmonary bypass machine (heart-lung machine) during cardiac surgeries and other procedures.

Image result for Perfusionist

Currently, there are only two perfusionists serving the island.

“There are facilities in place to assist those who suffer from heart disease through the Ministry of Health and Wellness. Currently, there is a shortage of perfusionists,” Mr Holness noted.