Editorial

Good reason to support Sigma Corporate Run

Saturday, January 06, 2018

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Sagicor Jamaica's announcement that one of the beneficiaries of this year's Sigma Corporate Run is the Spanish Town Hospital Special Care Unit is most pleasing.

That's because the hospital's Chief Executive Officer Mr Dwayne Francis has informed the country that the donation from the event will transform the Special Care Unit into a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. That transition, Mr Francis explained, will allow the hospital to increase the number of sick children it can treat.

The importance of the upgrade is evident in Mr Francis's revelation that each year the special-care nursery admits approximately 1,300 babies, 25 per cent of whom are premature.

“These babies require significant support to survive the neonatal period, given their fragile state. One neonate can be faced with multiple life-threatening complications that require specialised equipment for the best possible outcome. Fifty-three per cent of the neonates admitted to the unit have respiratory challenges that require close monitoring,” Mr Francis explained.

He also pointed out that babies are born with challenges that the hospital is unable to address, resulting in them being transferred to the University Hospital of the West Indies, Bustamante Hospital for Children, and Victoria Jubilee Hospital.

“It demands the best equipment and technologies with the highest level of support throughout the entire process, and an intense dedication in putting our clients' health first. The unit has over 5,000 births per year, rivalling the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, with a 40-bed special-care nursery,” Mr Francis added.

Readers will recall that last November Sagicor presented medical equipment valued at over $14 million to Spanish Town Hospital for the Special Care Unit, using funds from last year's Sigma Corporate Run.

The equipment included five incubators, one ventilator, five vital signs monitors and related accessories, three warmers, three resuscitaires, one arterial blood gas analyser, six volumetric infusion pumps, two LED phototherapy lamps and two Neo puff infant resuscitators.

In addition, the hospital received 15 wheelchairs, which were donated to Sagicor Foundation by Food For the Poor, and funds were allocated to help with maintenance of the equipment over several years.

The fact that Sagicor chose to assist the hospital for a second consecutive year is, we believe, a recognition by the company of the great need for improvement at the facility. But even if Sagicor had not made that decision, the company deserves high commendation for the fact that it uses this event to help improve conditions at facilities that provide health care, especially for children.

This year, St Christopher's School for the Deaf in Brown's Town, St Ann, will also benefit from the fund-raising event. It is our hope that more Jamaicans will support this initiative, as it is for a good cause.

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