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Charity groups donate $400,000 to Sav Public General Hospital

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer West writer

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Dreams To Reality (DTR) Foundation in collaboration with Friends of Savanna-la-Mar Public General Hospital and Misty Blue Cancer Foundation, on Monday, made a donation of $400,000 to the hospital towards the purchase of medical supplies and equipment and renovations at the state-run facility.

“We identified the hospital because we know…. we walked the hospital and did several tours of almost every department. The hospital is 50 per cent overcrowded. The separation from bed to bed is extremely close and that should not be. You have people sitting in chairs in emergency departments when they should be in beds to see doctors. So, it is a combination of things, and what we are trying to do is try to raise awareness and do what we can do as a community, and we are hoping that corporate Jamaica will jump on board and help to push this to another level,” argued Garold Hamilton, chief executive officer of DTR Foundation.

Hamilton said the amount given was an increase from the $300,000 gifted to the facility last year.

He pointed out that the objective is to make more donations in the future, depending on assistance received from corporate entities.

“We will continue to make donations. The hospital is one of our main projects that we will continue to support,” pledged Hamilton, who is originally from the inner-city community of Shaolin in Westmoreland, and is currently an engineer in the United States of America.

The funds were derived from events such as an Ultimate All- White Charity Party held in the parish last Saturday, a donation of $100,000 from Life Call Ambulance Service, $50,000 from the law firm Shelards, as well as donations from the general public.

The cheque was handed over to the chairman of the hospital, Eric Clarke, and Chief Executive Officer Camile Lewin.

Chief Medical Officer of the hospital Dr Alfred Dawes, told the Jamaica Observer West that the donation will go a far way in assisting with the relocating of the blood bank to a retrofitted container.

“We are currently relocation the blood bank to a retrofitted container that we have received as a gift from another organisation, but of course, because we don't have any capital budget, we would need to draw on this donation from local charities to assist us in getting the blood bank up and running,” Dr Dawes explained.

“It is crucial given the high number of road traffic accidents that we have to deal with, and other operations that we have to perform at the hospital. So, we see where this is going to a long way in improving the services at the hospital by making blood collection a more comfortable process and hopefully, we can extend the services later on.”

Chief Operations Officer of DTR, Al Pillininer said the shortage of blood at the Savanna-la-Mar Public General Hospital due to frequent road accidents in the parish aroused the foundation's attention.

“The bike accidents are a headache. Also, car accidents and the scamming business where they are fighting against each other and shooting up one and another, have put a strain on the hospital,” Pillininer argued.

DTR, founded in 2007, is aimed at assisting low-income children in Jamaica with their education. The foundation also supports renovation projects at the Savanna-la-Mar Public General Hospital and associated health centres in Westmoreland.

Brest's cancer survivor and founder of Misty Blue Cancer Foundation, Dorothy Satchwell, said her foundation was started in March 2015 following her cancer diagnosis in 2011.

She said the aim of Misty Blue Cancer Foundation, is not only to provide support and education, but to assist the Savanna-la-Mar Public General Hospital with medical equipment.