Missions Team From Jamaicans Abroad Helping Jamaicans At Home To Spend Week Working With Jamaica’s Poor
Jamaicans Abroad Helping Jamaicans At Home Foundation (JAH JAH) leads a contingency of volunteers for a week of community service projects to improve the health and education outcomes of Jamaica’s poor. Over twenty volunteers from across the United States have a rigorous itinerary for January 18th through 25th during the organization’s annual Mission for Change. “Mission for Change 2015 allows folks to come to Jamaica and enjoy Jamaica, while giving back to Jamaica,” said Dr. Trevor Dixon, emergency physician and CEO and founder.
Mission for Change 2015 volunteers provide: trainings and workshops for medical professionals; echocardiograms to athletes; and tests, screenings and education to dancehall patrons and rural communities. Team members will also build a sick bay at a Manchester orphanage. The week of service kicks off with a two-day seminar for doctors on the effective use of ultrasound technology. Led by Dr. Hugh Wong Consultant, Kingston Public Hospital, Dr. Dixon and other medical volunteers, the seminar is expected to convene 30 medical professionals working in Jamaica’s public hospitals to share techniques that increase speed and efficiency in assessing emergencies; minimizing fatalities. Members of the missions’ team will also lead workshops and provide lectures as part of the annual Conference on Pediatric Cancer; a collaboration with the Bustamante Children’s Hospital and Columbia University, NY.
In response to a seeming rise in incidents of Sudden Cardiac Death in high school-aged athletes, the mission will include screening and education for male and female student athletes across the island. “Three schools have been targeted as a pilot for our One Love, One Heart Program- where we collect baseline data and provide ongoing education and screenings to monitor and prevent these fatalities,” Dixon said. The One Love, One Heart Program is being launched through collaborative efforts including JIFFD, ISSA and Team Jamaica Bickle. The missions’ team will also provide HIV and diabetes screenings at Uptown Mondays, hosted by Witty, January 19th. Dancehall patrons will receive blood sugar checks and HIV education and testing through a partnership with Jamaica AIDS Society.
The latter part of the week ramps up in Manchester and Trelawny with the completion of building of a sick bay for children at the Hanbury Children’s Home and a Health Fair at Ulster Springs Health Center. Volunteers will widen doorways, build a 50ft runway for wheel chair and stretcher access, and increase the number of bathrooms accessible by wheel chair at the 80 bed orphanage in Manchester. After two days in Manchester, the team will provide general medical check up’s, ultra sounds, pap smears and diabetes tests in Ulster Springs Health Centre for residents in this and neighboring communities.
The trip winds down in Ocho Rios where the team will debrief and play Jamaica. “We serve hard! What’s a better to end a trip to Jamaica than enjoy some of its beautiful attractions?” Dixon asked. Visit http://jahjahfoundation.org/mission-for-change-2015/ for outline of Mission for Change 2015.
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