A new Type One Health Centre opened in Moravia, Clarendon, on August 17, replacing the clinic that operated from the home of a community member.
The centre was constructed by Food For The Poor (FFTP) with funds donated by Chicago resident, Mrs. Denise Di Biase, and on land donated by the Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Assistance also came from Custos of Clarendon, Hon. William Shagoury.
Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, who spoke at the opening, said “how we live, what we consume or the lack of physical activity and knowing our health status will determine how we eventually come to an end.”
“So, focus more on prevention. Your health starts with you, not with the doctor, nurse or hospital bed,” he told the gathering.
The Minister noted that seven out of every 10 Jamaicans die as a result of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
“If we start with the basic philosophy around public health and wellness, we would have a much healthier society, because many of the ailments that we encounter can be controlled if we accept some basic principles of public health,” he emphasised.
He listed two elements of public health that must be factored as part of the overall strategy and solution. “The element of prevention, which is to take the necessary precautions to minimise the risk of being affected by any form of ailment, and the curative element, which means having been afflicted or affected, we must ensure that infrastructure is there to solve the problems we encounter,” he added.
Dr. Tufton said in reality, the preventative side of health care is often overlooked and most times it is more important than the curative side, because prevention is cheaper than cure.
“Prevention does not bring pain and suffering. It avoids the need to be hospitalised, or take medication or stop from work, to watch loved ones suffer and costs you money,” he said.
Thanking all the stakeholders who made the clinic a reality, Dr. Tufton said it is an example of partnership and a demonstration of the vision shared by many.
“This vision of public health and wellness, community development, sharing and caring, love for each other and being our brother’s keeper has come through a network of collaboration and cooperation from Chicago to Florida,” the Minister said.
Meanwhile, Director of Distribution Services, FFTP Jamaica, Craig Moss-Solomon, encouraged prospective users to take care of the facility. He said that as the healthcare needs of Jamaicans increased, FFTP would remain committed to providing whatever support it could.
“As we witness this vibrant and historic opening, FFTP hopes this building will boost the service offerings at the centre, while continuing to provide child health, family planning, antenatal and curative services,” Mr. Moss-Solomon said.
Meanwhile, donor of the funds which built the clinic, Denise Di Biase, said her late husband Stephen, who was a scientist, knew the importance of medical care for all.
“God is good. He brought us all together – me from Chicago and all you wonderful people from Moravia and surrounding areas. We thank you for letting us be part of this wonderful project and we wish you all good things as you experience the love, compassion and healing of Jesus Christ,” she said.
Also expressing gratitude for the clinic were: Member of Parliament for North West Clarendon, Richard Azan; Senior Field Advisor – FFTP, Florida, Delane Bailey-Herd; Custos of Clarendon, Hon. William Shagoury; Mayor of May Pen, His Worship Councillor Winston Maragh, and Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw.
On Thursday, August 16, Mrs. Di Biase also participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for another clinic at Rock River in Clarendon, for which she will also be donating funds.