Foundation plugs water shortage at KPH, Victoria Jubilee

Monday, November 25, 2019

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THE Musson Foundation, in partnership with T Geddes Grant and the Woman's Club, has provided the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) and Victoria Jubilee Hospital (VJH) with a much-needed upgrade, with the official handover of 30 2000-gallon water tanks last week Thursday.

The project was conceived in light of the crippling water shortages experienced by the institutions earlier this year. The operation of both institutions was upended this past summer, as chronic water shortages in the Corporate Area led to repeated cancellation of surgeries and disruption of other routine activities.

KPH is the island's largest and oldest hospital, treating up to 90,000 patients annually. VJH is the largest maternity hospital in the English-speaking Caribbean and delivers approximately 8,000 babies per year. It is estimated that collectively, both institutions require 120,000 gallons of water to operate daily. However, the current combined storage capacity is only 63,000 gallons, which is woefully inadequate.

The Musson Foundation, after consultations with the hospital's management team, decided to step in to cover the shortfall and increase total water storage by 60,000 gallons, at a cost of more than $4 million. The hospitals have provided two water pumps to facilitate proper functioning of the tanks, and have managed the installation.
The impact of this donation will be massive as, with both KPH and VJH provided with adequate water supply, it is expected that efficiency will be increased in the day-to-day running of the hospitals, and as a result, the patient experience will be enhanced in all areas.

Consistent water supply will eliminate delays in surgeries and procedures due to water shortages and is expected to reduce the long waitlists for surgeries.

In, addition, it will ensure that proper hygiene is maintained for staff and patients, and will facilitate general and specialised sanitation of the hospital on an ongoing basis. The hospitals will no longer have to depend on water trucks,which are oftentimes delayed due to external circumstances.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Michael Subratie, director of Musson Jamaica Ltd, commented that KPH and VJH are two of the most important health institutions in Jamaica.

“Therefore, any disruption of service is, in fact, a national problem,” Subratie stated.

He added that, too often members of the society unintentionally overlook the conditions of their health care, until they actually have a sick loved one or are sick themselves.

“And then when they see the conditions, they realise how much more needs to be done. So much more needs to be done...I am hoping our actions will further encourage other capable private bodies to assist the Government in helping KPH and Victoria Jubilee hospitals,” he added.

In his keynote remarks, Dr Christopher Tufton, minister of health and wellness, thanked the Musson Foundation for the significant donation.

“Indeed, it is an important gap that your donation today is filling because, clearly, the hospitals cannot function without water...It is through public-private partnerships like these that we will guarantee the prosperity of our hospitals and our country,” he said.

The Musson Foundation was incorporated in 2013, to promote and encourage the advancement of education among poor and inner-city children through poverty reduction and community development activities.

Initiatives supported by the foundation include coding and technology training workshops for students and teachers, Outreach Day robotics, RISE Life Management, and the Jamaican Girls Coding programme.

The foundation is also a sponsor of Jamaica's award-winning robotics team, and of key entrepreneurship initiatives.

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