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Black River Hospital gets new incubator

(February 14, 2013) – For the Chief Executive Officer of Black River Hospital, a fully-functioning incubator “spells life” for the pediatric ward at the St. Elizabeth health facility.

According to CEO Diana Brown Miller, the hospital had to make do with swaddling babies before they could be placed in a partly-functioning incubator – the only one at the hospital.

“For us to now have a working incubator give us a sense of hope at Black River Hospital and we’re very grateful,” Brown Miller said. “The likelihood of a pre-term baby living has increased tremendously.”

Incubators are used for premature babies who cannot survive on their own and the Sandals Foundation handed over a brand new one to the hospital’s pediatric ward, which can accommodate 24 children. Tuesday’s presentation of the incubator valued at $1 million, was made possible with the support of guests and team members of Sandals Whitehouse.

“Health is a major focus for us here at the Sandals Foundation as it falls under our mandate to support the wellbeing of community members,” said Heidi Clarke, Director of Programmes of the Sandals Foundation. “We collaborated with the Black River Hospital and that’s how we found out that there was this major need that had to be addressed. Incubators lower mortality rates in newborns, shorten hospital stays for babies at risk and improve their overall life experience. The importance of having this life-saving equipment really speaks for itself.”

The Sandals Foundation commits itself to working with communities in tackling issues including but not limited to healthcare access. Through a number of partnerships with non-governmental organisations, the Sandals Foundation has facilitated dental, eye and health care access for more than 62,000 Jamaicans to date.