Dr. Ferguson was speaking at the handing over of $250,000 by the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation to the locally based Kidney Kids Foundation Scholarship Fund, on July 24, at the Ministry, in New Kingston.
The sum is intended to go towards the training of a Paediatric Nephrologist for the Cornwall Regional Hospital. The full cost of tuition is Can$144,000, and the Foundation has raised Can.$82,000 so far.
Scholarship recipient, Dr. Nadia McLean, who is a Paediatrician at the Cornwall Regional Hospital, has been accepted to pursue specialist training at the Montreal Children’s Hospital in Canada for the academic year, beginning in July 2016.
Currently there is no specialist in the Western Region. Persons have to travel to Kingston to receive treatment at the University Hospital of the West Indies and the Bustamante Hospital for Children.
Upon completion of her studies, Dr. McLean will return to Jamaica to serve as the Paediatric Nephrologist serving the parishes of St. James, Hanover, Westmoreland and St. Elizabeth.
Dr. Ferguson praised the work being done by the Kidney Kids Foundation and pledged the financial support of the Ministry in strengthening the area of paediatric nephrology in Jamaica.
“The Kidney Kids Foundation has been doing excellent work. The donation of $250,000 to go towards the training of a Paediatric Nephrologist for Western Jamaica is of great importance. The Ministry of Health will contribute to this effort to ensure the training as well,” he said.
Ambassador of Spain to Jamaica and President of the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation, His Excellency Anibal Jimenez Abascal, said he is pleased to contribute to the ambitious initiative.
“We will try to reinforce the area of health, because this is a very sensitive sector. This is a very important and socially conscious initiative. The children are the future of this country and the Foundation is happy to contribute to this endeavour and to the enrichment of the Kidney Kids Foundation,” he said.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Kidney Kids Foundation, Dr. Maolynne Miller, expressed her gratitude for the generous contribution of the Spanish- Jamaican Foundation.
“We are trying to achieve (the full amount) by December, so that Dr. McLean can begin her training in July 2016, so this is tremendously helpful,” she said.
The Spanish-Jamaican Foundation is devoted to strengthening the friendship between Spain and Jamaica through the promotion and implementation of social, educational, cultural and health based initiatives.
Meanwhile, Foundation will be hosting its annual Health Fair at the Spot Valley School in Montego Bay on August 21. The fair is a public education initiative, aimed at sensitizing the public about the importance and functions of the kidneys.