By Sanonna Newburn
Jamaica, the third-largest island in the Caribbean, is home to nearly three million people. Amongst the backdrop of mountain ranges, sandy beaches, and dense rainforests, the island’s beauty is continually marred by an alarming increase in poverty, violent crime, and unemployment, which stands at a staggering 7.72 percent. Throughout the island, there is a tremendous need for improved housing, modern school buildings, care for vulnerable children, agriculture initiatives, and other income-generating projects.
Since the organization’s founding in 1982, Food For The Poor has working to solve the problems facing Jamaica’s destitute children and families. What began with small-scale food distributions in Kingston has now grown into a massive network of like-minded groups and individuals working together to help Jamaica’s least fortunate.
Beds for Hospitals in Need
Beds are of paramount importance to every hospital, but Jamaica’s healthcare centers are not always able to procure them. To make matters worse, there has been an increased demand across the island nation due to the rise in COVID-10 positivity rates. In response to this issue, Food For The Poor partnered with Project C.U.R.E. to distribute 100 Stryker beds to several hospitals in Jamaica. Below are testimonials from hospital workers where the beds were delivered.
“It is our prayer that the provision of these beds will help to improve the overall capacity at the hospitals while offering health care workers some amount of comfort and ease in administering medical care. In this pandemic, we are seeing more admittance of ill patients than ever before. As such, the demand for beds is greater. From time to time, people have to sit in wheelchairs until a bed becomes available because of the constraints we are facing. This is not ideal, so any help we receive with beds for the institution is greatly appreciated. We are also seeing more patients who are critically ill, so the lifespan of the mattresses and beds is shorter. With this generous donation, we were able to replace defective beds, rusty beds, and others that were not reusable because they were soiled by critically ill patients. This donation arrived at an opportune time as we really needed them for our patients. Thanks to this donation, we were able to outfit most of the wards with new beds. On behalf of St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital, I want to express my gratitude for this donation to the facility. They will provide more comfort to the patients and staff. Again, thanks for your kind generosity.” -Maureen Hylton, Hospital Administrator, St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital
“We are always in need of beds. We were able to share them with one of our clinic stations. They took no time to assemble. As it relates to their usefulness, we are always replacing beds, with the help of our Bed Manager who helps us to keep track of this. The Kingston Public Hospital is close to an 800-bed facility. To procure beds, we get them from the regional office now and again, but we do not usually get many. Considering the fact that our beds get damaged so often, not based on misuse but overuse, we are so grateful to you and your team for this donation.” -Burknell Stewart, CEO, Kingston Public Hospital
“We had to try our best to get the beds on the wards because we don’t get beds often. This donation has been very important for us and has definitely helped. Health care is our primary focus, so this means that we ensure that our patients are safe and comfortable. Getting these beds has allowed us to finally replace some of the more defective ones we were forced to keep using. Thanks to you, we were able to put some fresh beds into the units. Thank you for this wonderful donation.” -Azan Sinclair, Operations Officer, Victoria Jubilee Hospital
“There is always a need for beds. From time to time, we must expand our space by putting in extra beds and on many occasions, we find ourselves having more patients than bed space available. So occasionally, we have had to make room for beds in the various wards. One space that is always in great need of beds in the Accident and Emergency area. Our hospital is located beside the sea, so in the past we’ve had instances of storm surges with more than 10 feet of water. In those instances, we would need to evacuate. I am so grateful for the beds because, in such an event, we will be able to move our patients more effectively and administer care in a bit more comfort. We are so thankful for the beds.” -Diana Brown-Miller, CEO, Black River Hospital
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty across the world. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the elderly, skills training, and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org