Custos, Mandeville Hospital hosting 5K to raise money for renal unit
Custos of Manchester Garfield Green and his wife Alecia being guided by nephrology nurse manager at Mandeville Regional Hospital Marika Davis-Miller, inside the renal unit last Friday. (Photo: Kasey Williams)

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — With more than 100 people on the waiting list for dialysis at the Mandeville Regional Hospital's renal unit Jamaicans are being encouraged to maintain healthy lifestyles, even as leaders and businesses here pledge support towards the facility.

Dr Garbriel Ukala, consultant internist and head of the medicine department at the hospital, shared the worrying statistics of Jamaicans requiring dialysis and the insufficient resources available to them.

"At Mandeville Regional Hospital there are 12 dialysis stations operating on two and a half shifts daily, in addition to providing emergency dialysis when needed. On average this is able to accommodate about 70 patients for regular, planned dialysis," he said on Friday.

Ukala was addressing the media launch of a 5K event set for June 11 in support of the Mandeville Regional Hospital's renal unit.

Custos of Manchester Garfield Green (right) and a fellow participant take part in a Jamaica Moves session at Friday's media launch of a 5K event. (Photo: Kasey Williams)

He said 6,025 dialysis treatments were administered to 221 patients in 2021 at the renal unit.

"In 2022 there were 6,615 dialysis treatments on 197 patients. This is not meeting the demand — it hardly scratches the surface. The waiting list for dialysis at Mandeville Regional Hospital is well over 100 patients, and I don't want to tell you what the criteria for bringing in the next person is," said Ukala.

"Most of these patients are unable to afford the cost of private dialysis. Many start out by getting private dialysis but are unable to keep up with the requirement for two or three dialysis treatments a week due to the cost associated with the treatment," he said.

He reiterated that kidney disease is preventable.

"The main risk factors that we have discovered for end-stage kidney disease are poorly controlled diabetes and hypertension, both chronic lifestyle diseases that are prevalent in our population," said Ukala.

Custos of Manchester Garfield Green, who has been vital to the organisation of the 5K, said he is looking forward to people supporting the event.

"[For] the inaugural run/walk/cycle for Manchester we have decided to partner with the Ministry of Health and Wellness, through the Southern Regional Health Authority, to provide moral and financial support to the renal unit… Providing care for kidney disease is very costly, delicate and technical. I toured the unit and I learnt a lot. I had no idea [prior] as to how it worked," he said.

"Our 5K road race is not just a physical challenge, but it sets the tone for trust, commitment, solidarity, sympathy and empathy," he added.

Mayor of Mandeville Donovan Mitchell said the municipal corporation, which manages Cecil Charlton Park, has waived fees for the use of the facility for the 5K and has contributed to the purchase of 200 branded T-shirts.

"We are partnering with the custos and his team. Twenty members of our staff will join the 5K," he said.

CEO of the Mandeville Regional Hospital Alwyn Miller commended Custos Green for partnering with the renal unit.

"The promotion of a healthy lifestyle, and particularly exercise, remains very relevant beyond the COVID[-19] pandemic. I think most of us will remember during the pandemic we saw a whole lot more people walking in the morning and persons drinking more water and juices and striving for a healthy life. We should continue that," he said.

"This event promises to be an extraordinary one. In my mind, outside of the Blue Mountains, Mandeville has the most salubrious and refreshing climate that will contribute to revitalising our participants," added Miller.

The registration link for the event is

BY KASEY WILLIAMS Staff reporter

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Which long-term investment option is more attractive to you at the moment?