Public-Private Partnership Boosts Hospital in Becoming Baby Friendly

The Black River Hospital in St. Elizabeth is now qualified to become a ‘baby-friendly’ hospital following infrastructural and equipment support from Sagicor Jamaica, which Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton says underscores the significance of corporate citizenship.

As one of three beneficiaries of the 2016 Sagicor Sigma Run, the hospital received on Thursday, December 15, a refurbished Paediatric Lounge and furniture to facilitate the privacy and comfort of mothers while they breastfeed, an arterial blood gas analyzer to test or measure the oxygen and carbondioxide levels in babies and children and signage for the hospital. The other beneficiaries are the Jamaica Cancer Society and kids with cancer across the island.

Dr. Tufton who was the keynote speaker pointed out that to date Sagicor Sigma Run has raised and donated over $160 million to a range of charities “which is significant and underscores the need for stakeholder participation in aiding critical means of development, health and education being absolutely key.”

“Public health in Jamaica cannot survive without stakeholder involvement because of how our public healthcare is structured and because of how it is financed and the limited resources. We have to engage the wider society as part of the thrust” the Health Minister added.

Dr. Tufton explained that the need for more ease for philanthropic activities to take place has prompted the Health Ministry to review its Health for Life and Wellness Foundation in an effort to strengthen the Foundation to work with charitable entities in providing support.

“We are saying to the Diaspora and local groups like Sagicor and others, look at health as an important imperative to supporting the growth agenda, to supporting health and wellness for our country, the productivity of our people and we can work with you to create a gap that you can fill because it is needed” Dr. Tufton said.

The Baby-Friendly Initiative is a global effort to implement practices that protect, promote and support breastfeeding with a thrust to transform hospitals and maternity facilities to promote breastfeeding.