The arrival in Jamaica of Global Links’ most recent donation of medical material marks the conclusion of a multi-year project to improve treatment of kidney disease.
Beginning in 2005, Global Links worked with Jamaica’s National Renal Health Program to provide key dialysis training and materials. Kidney transplants are rare in Jamaica, where an estimated 600 people die of kidney failure every year.
This final stage of the project provided an ultrasound machine to facilitate the placement of fistulas, which provide access to the bloodstream necessary for long-term dialysis.
“Having an ultrasound available for fistula placement gives much better results,” says Global Links CEO Kathleen Hower. “We made sure a training program for the surgeons was in place, as well as a program for nurses to maintain the fistulas for their patients. Because the ultrasound is portable, it can be used in Mandeville as well as in other hospitals.”
Having complete dialysis services in Mandeville, located in central Jamaica, means that patients no longer have to travel to Kingston twice weekly for treatment. Decentralizing healthcare services is a key element in extending accessibility.
The donation included dialysis supplies as well as hospital beds and medical supplies.
This project was supported by a generous grant from the ALCOA Foundation.
Read more about our work in Jamaica.