- On its tenth anniversary, the medical centre held a five-day session in which it managed to attend to 56 children with orthopaedic injuries or deformities that prevent their normal movement
- From this year, the clinic also offers treatment to children transferred from the Bustamante Hospital, the largest children’s medical centre in the Caribbean.
The Negril Paediatric Orthopaedic Service funded by RIU Hotels & Resorts attended, in just five days, to 56 patients with serious mobility problems due to accidents or birth deformities, creating a new record for this Jamaican clinic that opened in 2009. These figures were achieved thanks to the service’s strong reception by the Jamaican public and the transfer of children with mobility problems from the Caribbean’s largest children’s hospital, Bustamante Hospital for Children in Kingston.
This hospital department, located in Negril, offers orthopaedic equipment and therapy for children who have weak lower limbs, skeletal deformities, spasticity (multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, cerebral palsy) and gait disorders (stability for walking). The patients are boys and girls from very deprived socio-economic circumstances, and the Negril Orthopaedic Clinic is their only means of receiving free, high-quality treatment anywhere on the island.
In the clinic’s latest session, which was held from 15 to 20 March, Gabriel Beversluis, a volunteer orthopaedic doctor from Kentucky (USA) and his wife, Jodi, a nurse, together with their daughter Madison Beversluis who provides the centre with technical support, cared for 56 children with lower limb mobility problems. Their responsibilities involve fitting appropriate orthopaedic equipment for each patient and providing guidance on how to use and maintain it, as well as advice for the parents on how to support and care for their children whilst helping them lead independent lives.
In addition, the orthopaedic specialists also received patients transferred from Bustamante Hospital for Children, a centre located in Kingston, 218 kilometres away, and which is considered the Caribbean’s largest children’s hospital. Such has been the reputation and professionalism of the American specialists at the Negril Clinic, that many patients get up at 4 a.m. in order to catch the bus that will take them to Negril for treatment.
Over five days, the team attended to 56 children with equipment donated by their patients in the United States, consisting of 35 ankle and foot orthoses (support devices that help to modify functional or structural aspects of the neuromusculoskeletal system), one walking frame, 15 pairs of orthopaedic shoes, four knee, ankle and foot orthoses and other essential equipment for improving the patients’ mobility and, consequently, their quality of life.
The American specialists were, once again, supported by the director Elaine Allen-Bradley, head of administration, medical appointments and patient training, along with her colleagues Nickie and Teleith. Over ten years, the team has worked together to treat 376 Jamaican children, raising the island’s standard of health care and enabling many patients to increase their mobility or even take their first steps in a matter of hours.
RIU Hotels founded the clinic in 2009 and is responsible for the rental and maintenance of the facility, as well as supporting the volunteer orthopaedic specialists from the USA and Canada, by means of the hotel chain’s “charitable accommodation” programme. Throughout their four annual missions that take place at the clinic in Negril, RIU Hotels offers them completely free accommodation at its hotels on the island.
This sponsorship by RIU Hotels & Resorts forms part of the company’s Social Responsibility department’s Social Action Plan, which considers it vital that the company integrates with the community of the places where it operates, in order to contribute to the improvement and greater wellbeing of the social environment.
For more information or reservations, please visit: www.riu.com