Mon | Nov 23, 2020

Cuthbert Flynn commits to improving maternal healthcare

Published:Friday | September 25, 2020 | 7:54 PM
State Minister in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Juliet Cuthbert Flynn (right), speaks with a patient at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital (VJH) antenatal clinic, during a tour of the hospital on Friday. - photo contributed

Newly appointed State Minister in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Juliet Cuthbert Flynn, says the Government remains committed to advancing maternal and child healthcare in Jamaica.

During a tour of the Victoria Jubilee Hospital (VJH) in Kingston on Friday, the State Minister said this continues to be an area of focus for the Ministry, as it seeks to reduce the mortality rate among this demographic.

“The focus is on maternal health in general – prenatal and postnatal health. You cannot look at just one area of maternal health. All of that will be looked at in terms of improvements that can be made, and then we go from there,” she said.

Cuthbert Flynn emphasised the access to quality healthcare as an important factor in preventing deaths among new mothers and infants, and said the Government continues work to improve the public sector’s maternal and neonatal healthcare.

“Access to care is very important. Our maternal and infant mortality rate is high. This is one of the areas that I have a special interest in… . I am excited to be a voice for our mothers and women to ensure they get the best care possible,” she added.

For his part, Acting Senior Medical Officer, VJH, Dr Garth McDonald, said the majority of maternal mortalities are from the postnatal population.

“After the woman has delivered, that is the time that they run into problems. If we improve on that level of care, we should have a reduction in maternal mortality. When we lose one Jamaican woman, the entire family is greatly affected; therefore, the VJH is pivotal to national development in this regard,” he noted.

Regional Director, South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), Maureen Golding, said discussions are under way for the modernisation of the hospital’s labour ward.

The VJH is the largest referral maternity hospital in the English-speaking Caribbean, providing a range of maternity services; gynaecological services; oncology care and family planning clinics.

Approximately 600 deliveries are performed at the hospital each month.

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