JAMAICA-HEALTH – UN office to manage rehabilitation of hospital in western Jamaica

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KINGSTON, Jamaica, May 5, CMC – The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) has been assigned as project manager for the rehabilitation process at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in the western parish of St James.
Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton made the disclosure during his contribution to the 2017/18 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
“We have selected a contractor under a limited tender process who will design a new vent system, and UNOPS will proceed as part of its mandate to assess and manage the corrective measures for plumbing, electrical and general building repairs,” he said.
The minister said UNOPS will also be looking at the workflow of the facility and provide training for capacity building in critical areas such as maintenance.
“This process is expected to last for at least a year; however, I am convinced that once completed, the CRH will be in great shape to continue delivering quality healthcare service to citizens,” he said.
In the meantime, the minister noted that all outpatient services at the facility have been re-located in a bid to facilitate repair of the institution’s ventilation system.
“We are seeing up to 600 patients each day from locations other than the main building that is under investigation and repair. Most of the supporting services, like lab services, have been relocated and are operational,” he said.
Tufton further informed that segments of the inpatient-care service have also been relocated.
He saluted the staff at the CRH for their efforts in managing the crisis. “There were times when the pressure mounted and tensions ran high, but their resolve was clear and focused, and that was to carry out their mandate to serve the Jamaican people,” he said.
An investigation conducted by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), earlier this year, found that mold was the main cause of the noxious fumes at the hospital.
The Ministry of Health had asked PAHO, to conduct air quality tests at the facility.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr Winston De La Haye then said that the problem would have to be addressed through stripping and replacing the ventilation system.
Mold is a common fungus found inside and outside buildings.
It grows best in warm, damp environments and multiplies as microscopic spores.

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