Diaspora in US supports adopt-a-clinic programme

THE Jamaica Diaspora Health Task Force in the United States of America (USA) is working closely with the Ministry of Health and Wellness to advance the Adopt-a-Clinic programme.

Under the initiative, launched in November 2017, the ministry has earmarked 100 health centres across the island for support from local and international individuals, groups, and corporate entities. The United Kingdom (UK) Diaspora is a key partner in the programme.

Co-Chair of the task force for the USA north-east region, Claudette Powell, said discussions have been ongoing with stakeholders to identify persons and/or groups that will commit to partnering with health centres in Jamaica for the required three to five years.

She was speaking to JIS News during Tuesday’s session of the eighth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.

Powell, who is a registered nurse consultant, said she was optimistic and was working towards being able to report on the adoption of at least 50 clinics by the next Diaspora Conference in 2021.

She expressed gratitude to Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton for his support for the Diaspora USA initiative.

She said that at a meeting prior to the conference, the minister “shared some of the strategies adopted by the diaspora group in the UK in their Adopt-a-Clinic effort, which has been relatively successful. I will certainly be guided by that”.

Executive director of the ministry’s Health and Wellness Foundation, which has direct responsibility for the Adopt-a-Clinic programme, Courtney Cephas, said there have been 14 adoptions to date, with another 20 in the pipeline.