A High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) machine valuing over US$80,000 was handed over to the Ministry of Health by the Pan American Health Organization ( PAHO) to facilitate more newborns being screened for Sickle Cell Disease. The Minister of Health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, said “Under the National Strategic and Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non Communicable Diseases in Jamaica 2013 – 2018, the Ministry’s target is to achieve screening for all pregnant women and newborns for sickle cell disease by 2016” .

Dr. Ferguson was speaking at a Handover Ceremony on Wednesday, March 11, at the Tropical Medicine Research Institute (TMRI). The Minister explained that “early diagnosis of sickle cell disease will result in the reduction of mortality for persons born with the disease. The HPLC machine will therefore assist Jamaica in achieving Millenium Development Goal 4 which speaks to the reduction of child mortality”.

The Sickle Cell Unit at TMRI will house and utilize the HPLC machine. The Minister lauded the staff for the work they have been doing in advancing the sickle cell disease health programme.

The donation of the HPLC was made possible by a technical cooperation project established by PAHO and the Governments of Jamaica and Brazil. It is only one of many deliverables that are to come from this project which is being funded to the tune of US $200,000.

Ruth Lodge
Secretary
Public Relations & Communication
Ministry of Health

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