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JN Foundation donates lab equipment to KPH

Saffrey Brown (right), general manager of Jamaica National Building Society Foundation, goes over details of the funding agreement with Dr Michael Brooks, consultant urologist and secretary of the Jamaica Urological Society, and Dr Warren Chin, consultant urologist at KPH. The JNBS had donated funds to purchase cancer-testing equipment.

The Urology Unit at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) has increased its capacity to save lives, thanks to a donation from the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) Foundation, to purchase cancer-testing equipment.

Dr Warren Chin, consultant urologist at the hospital, said the procurement of the vital equipment will help to increase the number of patients served by the unit. He said that tests were conducted for some 300 patients per year, based on current equipment.

"With the additional equipment we will be able to conduct up to 500 biopsies per year," he said. The grant funding will allow for the purchase of two automatic biopsy instruments that are used to diagnose prostate cancer, and two flexible cystoscopes, used to diagnose bladder cancer.

More patients

"We are seeing more patients on a regular service basis; therefore, we are making an attempt to ramp up our efficiency and capacity in terms of throughput," Dr Chin said.

The KPH Urology Unit, the largest non-user fee Urology Unit in Jamaica, serves as a referral point for the South East Regional Health Authority, which includes Kingston & St Andrew, Portmore and St Thomas.

Saffrey Brown, general manager of JNBS Foundation, said that health was one of the foundation's key areas of focus; and given the high incidence of prostate cancer in Jamaica, there was a compelling case for the grant. In addition to the number of patients that can be tested with the new equipment, she stated that early detection of urinary tract cancer also resulted in far less costly treatment.

The National Health Fund currently spends close to $200 million a year on medication for advanced prostate cancer victims, Ms Brown noted. "And if that sum is reduced by 50 per cent, it would save $100 million on medication alone for that group."

Grant agreement

The grant agreement was signed recently between the JN Foundation and the Jamaica Urological Society at the JNBS's head office on Constant Spring Road, in Kingston.

Dr Michael Brooks, secretary of the Jamaica Urological Society, said the urological testing service at the KPH is limited by the lack of basic equipment, such as biopsy instruments, which are important in diagnosing prostate cancer.

"The equipment will certainly help us to do more diagnoses," Dr Brooks affirmed. "In terms of cystoscopes ... they will help us in treating patients with a deadly form of cancer. Therefore, we are very happy for JN Foundation's assistance."

Source: The Jamaica Star
Link: Article Source

Posted: Jun 12, 2012