Lady Allen Implores Jamaicans to Safeguard Nation’s Youth

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Jamaica News: Wife of the Governor-General, Her Excellency the Most Hon. Lady Allen, is urging well-thinking Jamaicans to take the necessary steps to safeguard the society’s children and youth, and aid their holistic development.

Noting that 33 per cent of the population are children and another 11.8 per cent are youth, aged 18 to 24, Lady Allen contended that “these are the leaders and nation-builders or tomorrow, and we want them healthy and happy”.

“Our children and young people face many problems, and sometimes they need the help of us adults to see them through their difficulties. We need to do that because they have special needs, special interests, and special dreams. We must give them every opportunity to become the best that they can be,” she said.

Her remarks were delivered by Chair of the Friends of the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Dr. Karla Hylton, during the opening ceremony for the annual Dr. Leila Wynter Commemorative Conference at the institution on Monday (November 5).

Lady Allen said that when children are allowed to grow holistically, they will be “set on the right path to do those things that are good for them… and good for us too”.

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Lady Allen, who is the Bustamante Hospital’s patron, said she enjoys and takes this role seriously, pointing out that “it is a pleasure because I have always had a very great interest in children and young people”.

“I have a special love for them. They give us as parents, grandparents, and older people a lot of joy as we see them learning, enjoying themselves, getting excited over their successes, or just being themselves without pretending to be what they are not,” she noted.

Lady Allen said that the conference has been fittingly named in honour of one of Jamaica’s pioneers in paediatric and general healthcare, and is a welcome forum for exploring and discussing issues related to the welfare of the society’s youngsters.

She noted that the range of topics for discussions were relevant, and praised all of the medical professionals, inclusive of doctors, nurses, surgeons and specialists, who volunteered to share information on and examine health-related issues “[impacting] the health of our young adolescents”.

The annual Dr. Leila Wynter conference commemorates the life and work of the first senior paediatrician at the Bustamante Hospital for Children.

Lady Allen highlighted Dr. Wynter’s groundbreaking work and invaluable contribution to paediatric healthcare.

She noted her pursuit to become a medical doctor during the early1900s when, in the absence of a medical training school in Jamaica, only boys, men of the elite class, and others selected by the Colonial government of the day were facilitated to study abroad.

“[She] made it against the odds to become the highly skilled and respected medical doctor, who served Jamaica well for some five decades until her passing in 1986. Therefore, [it] is only fitting that we pay tribute to her memory with the staging of these Annual Conferences,” Lady Allen added.

This year’s conference, held under the theme ‘Disorders of Adolescence’, featured several focus area presentations and a symbolic commemorative cake-cutting exercise.

Topics covered included: ‘The Adolescent with Congenital Heart Disease’, ‘The HPV Vaccine’, and ‘’The Pharmacist’s Role in Adolescent Patients Healthcare’.

The Bustamante Hospital for Children, located in Kingston, is Jamaica’s and the Caribbean’s sole paediatric health institution, catering to children up to age 12.


Source: JIS News

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