Sat | Apr 13, 2024

60 mothers receive care supplies under Start Right programme

Published:Friday | March 31, 2023 | 9:24 AM
Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Juliet Cuthbert Flynn (left), presents maternal care supplies to Rhianna Davis during a handover ceremony at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital downtown Kingston on March 29. The presentation falls under the Start Right initiative, targeted at vulnerable mothers and their newborns, and involves collaboration among the Ministry, the American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ), and the Jamaicans Abroad Helping Jamaicans at Home (JAHJAH) Foundation. A total of 60 mothers at the facility benefited from the support. - Contributed photo.

Sixty mothers at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston were beneficiaries of care items as the Ministry of Health and Wellness strengthens its maternal health programme under the latest initiative dubbed Start Right.

Among the provisions is a portable infant lounger/bed— the Snuggle Nest, packed with supplies such as diapers, skincare and hygiene products.

“The programme responds to the needs of vulnerable mothers, specifically high-risk, low-income pregnant women to receive them into care,” said Minister of State Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn during a handover ceremony on Wednesday.

The disbursement at the maternal hospital is the first of a tranche of 100.

The programme, which was officially launched in January, will later target some 2,000 mothers across all birthing sites.

Its larger context, Cuthbert-Flynn added, is the reduction of the island's maternal morbidity and infant mortality rates.

“Jamaica remains committed to reducing the maternal mortality ratio to 70 per 100,000 live births by the year 2030, in line with the ambitions of the Sustainable Development Goals,” she continued.

The initiative is grounded in the Ministry's efforts to support teen mothers and their babies in accessing and remaining in care after delivery as well as decreasing infant mortality from suffocation or strangulation when there is bed-sharing.

The programme has also brought to the public health system, modern ultrasound technology with the introduction of the Butterfly Handheld Ultrasound Monitor into Obstetrics Units at eight facilities.

The state-of-the-art device, now being used globally is small, mobile-friendly and can carry out scans at the bedside of patients.

The American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) has financed the ultrasound devices to the tune of some US$25,000 and the Snuggle Nests (with care items from Bailey's Medical Supplies) at upwards of US$15,000.

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