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Lions Club of St Andrew: Committed to improving Portmore residents’ health

Published:Friday | October 30, 2020 | 12:09 AM
A patient receives treatment at the Portmore Dental Clinic recently.
A patient receives treatment at the Portmore Dental Clinic recently.

FOR THE last 25 years, the Lions Club of St Andrew has provided dental services to the residents of Portmore, St Catherine, through its clinic, as part of its commitment to improving the health and well-being of residents in the municipality.

The clinic, located at Shop H1 Portmore Mall, first started out as a mobile unit, and became a fixed location in 2010, offers an array of dental services at a reduced cost.

“A major objective of the clinic is to provide affordable dental services to Jamaicans, particularly residents of Portmore,” Izett McCalla, club services chairman of the Lions Club of St Andrew, informed, noting that, “this is a not-for-profit organisation; therefore, our fees are very competitive and all surpluses are channelled to providing other health- related services to the community.”

He explained that the clinic, which is opened from Tuesdays to Saturdays between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., offers general services such as: oral examinations, cleaning, extractions, minor surgical extractions, filling and dentures. There are three dentists on staff to treat the patients. The Lions Club executive also pointed out that patients can make appointments to receive treatment, and major health cards are accepted. McCalla explained that the clinic also provided additional services during the back-to-school period.

“For example, during the month of August, we have our annual health fair, at which we provide additional services, such as free blood pressure checks and blood sugar tests, as well as free vision screening. We also offer a discount on dental services during the health fair. The service which we provide falls under one of the mandates of the Lions Club globally, which is to introduce residents in communities to health services, as part of our activities,” he informed.

Although their health services cost less than market rate, McCalla pointed out that, “Many residents in Portmore seem to be unfamiliar with the services.

Raising awareness

There was a time we used to get between 165 and 200 persons per month. However, this number has fallen over time and we believe that this is due to a lack of awareness. However, we endeavour to inform persons that this service is here, and offers competitive prices, while delivering high-quality service.”

The clinic receives support from corporate entities, including JN Money Services, a member company in the Jamaica National Group, and is a part of the remittance company’s corporate social responsibility.

“Over the years, JN Money Services has assisted us in many ways, including support to our outreach programmes and providing advice to upgrade the operational side of our clinic, and we are truly grateful for their support,” McCalla said.

Horace Hines, general manager JN Money Services, explained that assisting the dental clinic was part of JNMS’s overall thrust to provide support for persons across all sectors, which are crucial to the development of our citizens.

“We continue to support health and educational programmes in a number of ways,” Hines informed. “We believe that an educated and a healthy population is essential for us, if we are to realise our potential as a country.

Therefore, we support these sectors because we see them as being foundations in our quest for development,” Hines explained.