Appeal for Jamaicans to Reduce Lifestyle Diseases Amidst Support for Renal Unit

Written by Staff Writer

CEO of the Mandeville Regional Hospital, Mr. Alwyn Miller is appealing to Jamaicans to take better care of their health in preventing or reducing the risks of non-communicable diseases which can result in conditions such as kidney failure, which is costly to treat.

The CEO was speaking at the launch of the 34th annual High Mountain Coffee 10K Road Race set for January 29 and which will benefit the Mandeville Regional Hospital’s Haemodialysis (Renal) Unit.

Mr. Miller noted that the Haemodialysis Unit caters to some 47 patients on a weekly basis; however, persons have to seek private care as the unit can only accommodate a specific number of patients due to its limited capacity. In explaining the costly treatment of dialysis, Mr. Miller pointed out that a dialysis treatment session can cost $12,000 to $15,000 which should be done ideally three times per week.

“The High Mountain Coffee Road Race has been an annual staple for this region which promotes the health and wellness for everyone through physical activity. This is important to us in the Ministry of Health and though this event has been a lifesaver being the largest non-governmental organization donor of funding for the support and strengthening of the Haemodialysis Unit, it is not our wish that anyone should require dialysis particularly as a result of the non-communicable diseases hypertension and diabetes” Mr. Miller said.

The Health Ministry has been on a drive through several programmes and initiatives to encourage Jamaicans to understand the importance of taking care of themselves by engaging in things such as eating right and exercising in an effort to reduce or prevent lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol.

Now in its fifth year of support for the hospital’s renal unit, the donations from the road race will be used to systematically upgrade the machines in an effort to boost services.

As one of the premier sporting and community events across Jamaica, the Road Race is staged by the Jamaica Standard and Products Company and has donated some $4 million to the Haemodialysis Unit throughout its years of support.

The Committee is encouraging persons to support its cause by contributing to the High Mountain Coffee Wellness Fund at the Bank of Nova Scotia in Mandeville (Account# 644311).

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Staff Writer