Spending $20 less on Christmas Presents May Save a Life in Jamaica

Heart disease and stroke are epidemic in Jamaica and the instruments used to monitor blood pressure are desperately short in clinics and hospitals.

To quickly solve this shortage, the Jamaican Diaspora Canada Foundation (JDCF) in conjunction with Diaspora organizations in the United States and United Kingdom, is holding a fundraising drive to assist in purchasing 1,000 hospital-grade sphygmomanometers, and to have the instruments in Jamaica’s clinics and hospitals early in the New Year. These machines cost $220 for the wall mounted, $250 for the desk top and $500 for the rolling type, on the retail market. All three types are needed.

Our objective is to see Jamaicans at home start 2013 better able to detect and conquer the silent killer of high blood pressure

Between the three arms of the Diaspora we hope to raise a total of $50,000. In Canada, we ask that each Jamaican in this Diaspora spend $20.00 less on presents this Christmas and instead in the spirit of giving and love for your fellow humans, donate the money to the fund.

Funds raised on this drive will be pooled with the funds raised in USA and UK to procure the blood pressure monitors from an already approved supplier in Florida.

To date 150 of the 1,000 Blood pressure machines have been delivered and the fund hopes to deliver the remaining 850 by the February 2013 Diaspora and Friends, Advancement in Medicine and Science conference, to be held in Jamaica.

The shortage became known to the Diaspora organizations just last year (October) after a team carried out a needs assessment of more than 20 Jamaican hospitals and several clinics. It was decided to focus on the epidemic of heart disease and stroke for the first year of a five year project, as part of an agreement between the Jamaican Diaspora worldwide and Jamaica’s Ministry of Health.

All blood pressure machines purchased will be mercury operated. Three types of machines have been approved:  rolling, desk top and wall mounted units. The mercury machines will minimize maintenance costs and ensure durability.

Among some of the other equipment the needs assessment showed as urgently needed are kidney dialysis machines; two linear accelerator radiation machines at a cost of $5 million, for cancer treatment at Kingston Public Hospital and Cornwall Regional Hospital, as well as a  wide range of other equipment and supplies.

Donations should be clearly addressed to: JDCF JAMAICA HEALTHCARE PROJECT: and mailed to JDCF C/O Consulate General of Jamaica 303 Eglinton Ave. East Toronto, Ontario, M4P 1L3.

Direct Deposits can be made to Scotiabank account Number: 50062 00381 13 and designate the donation to JDCF Health Project

For Further information Contact:

Kingsley Gilliam : Director Social Service and Health JDCF and member Jamaica Diaspora International Healthcare planning Group at 416-756-0856 or kpgilliam@acn.net

Dr. Enid collins : Jamaica Diaspora International Healthcare planning Group 416-492-7615, enid.collins@sympatico.ca.

Valarie Steele: President JDCF 416-656-4624 all4ofus@bell.net

Philip Mascoll:  Director Finance and Business and Special Projects, JDCF,

416-465-9933 pmascoll1948@gmail.com

Information provided by Kingsley Gilliam

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