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Wheelchair-bound senior citizen welcomes access ramp at Cornwall Mountain Health Centre

Published:Saturday | May 25, 2024 | 12:07 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer


Eighty-four year-old Ivette Myles, a resident of Cornwall Mountain in Westmoreland, has welcomed the construction of a wheelchair access ramp at the Cornwall Mountain Health Centre, which she attends for her medical check-up on a monthly basis. Myles, whose right leg is amputated, has to rely on a wheelchair to get around. She praised the work of the organisers and volunteers on Labour Day as a good thing for persons like herself. “In going to the clinic, I take a car from here (home) and they put me out (on the compound) and I try to go in,” Myles explained. “If you people make a place for wheelchairs, that is very good. I love that and I agree with it,” the senior citizen said.

The ramp has been designed to allow patients using wheelchairs to be able to exit the health centre building, with ease to access an outside bathroom.

She says that getting to and from the health centre bathroom over the years has not been easy for physically challenged persons but, with this new ramp, life is expected to be muc better.

“It is not easy for me to use the bathroom,” said Myles.

Councillor Danree Delancy, mayor of Savanna-la-Mar says he is delighted to have been a part of providing access to members of the disabled community by way of this wheelchair access ramp.

He told The Gleaner that he appreciates this year’s National Labour Day theme, of “ramp up access” as it provides an opportunity to make adjustments to buildings with greater focus on the physically challenged in the society.

“I am in agreement with the theme. I like the whole focus on the disabled among us,” Delancy stated.

”A lot of people might not realise the contributions that disabled persons are making in terms of their work and their involvement in the workforce on a whole,” the Savanna-la-Mar mayor said.

“We have some brilliant minds who have one form of a disability or the other, and they are contributing to nation building and sometimes they are overlooked,” Delancy said

“I like this idea of these types of facilities to facilitate them and make life easier or more comfortable for them,” he added, referencing individuals with physical disabilities.


Councillor Dawnett Foster, in whose Cornwall Mountain Division the Westmoreland parish labour project was held on Thursday, said she is delighted to be able to make life easier for her constituents who are living with disabilities. “Today, we are ramping up the access from the clinic,” Foster shared in outlining the scope of work that would be carried on the day.

She said the toilets in the bathroom would be replaced.and that a pipe will be installed to allow greater access to an adequate supply of water for the staff and patients using the healthcare facility.

“As you know, at the front [of the health centre], we already have a ramp for wheelchair access but, at the back, to go to the outside restrooms, there is no access,” Foster explained.

Sheron Small, a contestant in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Westmoreland Chapter Festival Queen Competition, who also shared in day’s activities, said: “We believe in volunteerism and giving back to our community. Even though we are not from the community, we are here to put hands and heart together in making the community a better place, and to just give back to a particular community in painting and cleaning, to help our elderly persons and persons with disabilities.”