Health & Wellbeing
JAM | May 10, 2023

The ‘New Limb, New Life’ initiative ‘brings some relief to people who have lost limbs through diabetes’

Candice Stewart

Candice Stewart / Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Minister of Health and Wellness, Christopher Tufton, in his 2023/24 Sectoral Debate presentation, on May 3, said that the government of Jamaica is currently undertaking three multimillion-dollar programmes to provide persons with limb replacement, dentures, and vision saving services, including surgeries.

Where limb replacement is concerned, Tufton said that a sum of $50 million will be made available under a prosthetic partnership programme for persons with disabilities and it is expected to provide qualified persons with properly fitted prostheses, enabling them to return to optimal productivity and social participation.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness will be partnering with the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD) on the initiative. The allocated money, he said, will be available to the JCPD “who will assess and qualify persons 60 years or younger, persons in their productive years” to be fitted for prosthetics.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, making his contribution to the 2023/24 Sectoral debate in the House of Representatives on May 3. (Contributed photo: JIS)

Surgix Prosthetics Clinic is playing its part by providing prosthetics for the initiative.

In an interview with Our Today, Winfield Boban, CEO of Surgix Prosthetics Clinic, says that the ‘New Limb, New Life’ is “truly a groundbreaking initiative and it certainly brings some relief to folks who have lost their limbs through debilitating diseases such as diabetes.”

“I think that from the start, when prosthetics were first introduced here in Jamaica, it was probably the biggest announcement and it put a focus on people who are amputees. We are pleased and honoured that Surgix Prosthetics Clinic is part of it. We’ve been lobbying for this effort for quite some time,” he said.

Winfield Boban, CEO of Surgix Prosthetics Clinic (Contributed photo)

“We have about 30 thousand patients and they’re just waiting for prosthetics through the Jamaica Council for Disabled Persons. We are hoping that this is going to make some sort of dent in those numbers and getting them back to some degree of independence and productivity,” added Boban.

Tufton, in his Sectoral Debate presentation, stressed that people who have lost their limbs tend to endure a difficult life due to the condition and hinted that the initiative was inspired by the story of double amputee and pineapple farmer, Andrew Nelson.

“Andrew is only one individual but, he is an example. There is another individual that I have to mention. So, this person had an unfortunate event on Old Hope Road – Mr. John Pollack. We reached out and we provided him with the support. We’re gonna use their example as an example to others,” he added, noting the importance of why people must know their numbers.

“One of the consequences of chronic disease within a high-trauma society is the number of Jamaicans who have lost limbs, hands and feet, due to trauma or chronic diseases,” said Tufton.

RELATED: ‘Know Your Numbers’ healthy lifestyle initiative to respond to lifestyle diseases and premature mortality

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