Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced the new Paediatric Cardiac Centre at the Bustamante Hospital for Children on his Facebook Page on Tuesday 16. He emphasized that the Centre is now operational. "
"This state-of-the-art Paediatric Cardiac Centre contains a 10-bed Intensive Care unit, an Operating theatre and a Biplane Catheterization laboratory. It is the only cardiac centre within the English speaking Caribbean and will help to save the lives of many children not just in Jamaica but across the region", the Prime Minister wrote.
The Bustamante Hospital for Children was established in 1963 and has serves approximately 35,887 outpatients and 70,331 casualties per year.
The state-of-the-art Paediatric Cardiac Centre was opened at the Bustamante Hospital For Children Monday morning. Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton reveal that the facility is valued at an estimated US$5 million.
Non-Government Organisations (NGO) Chain of Hope, Gift Of Life International and Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation, as well as corporate entities Digicel, through the Digicel Foundation, and Sagicor, with assistance from Rotary International and the National Health Fund, contributed to the construction as well as the purchasing of the equipment for the new facility.
According to Loop, the facility will offer surgical and after-care cardiac services for children and accommodate 10 patients with,intensive care unit, an operating theatre and a biplane catheterisation laboratory. It will be able to conduct 220 cardiac procedures each year.
The centre will also provide specialised training for surgeons, nurses and other paediatric cardiac personnel, and will also be used to conduct research. Approximately 400 children are born each year in Jamaica with congenital heart disease, half of which will need some form of corrective procedure, either by open heart surgery or catheter interventions.
Tufton said, "the Ministry of Health is mandated to ensure that the provision of quality of health services and to promote healthy lifestyles and environmental practices. Over the last two decades, significant efforts have been made to improve cardiac care for children in Jamaica."
Chairman of Chain of Hope Jamaica, Diane Edwards said the work of the organisation has just begun with the facility bringing hope for children with heart issues in the island.
She said, "it is now our building. It is now our gift of life. It is now that we can give to children who have congenital heart defects. So it really is a tribute to our caring and sharing for those children, some of whom are not yet born, some of whom are on the waiting list and some of whom have had their hearts repaired and need continuous care.
"Where we are at this juncture, this is just the beginning. It is the end of the first phase and we have now opened the doors of this facility. It has been operating for a couple of months and has been repairing little hearts and has been really adopted by the Bustamante Hospital for Children," Edwards said.