The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), along with the Government of Jamaica and the Jamaica diaspora, recently hosted a five-week Camp Summer Plus programme in Jamaica. Participants were instructed in reading and mathematics and the arts. Careful thought was given to the medical, dietary, social behavioural and academic fortification of students.
The Issa Trust Foundation, chaired by Paul Issa, who is also the deputy chairman of Couples Resorts, facilitated medical clinics at Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College in Montego Bay, Cedar Grove Academy in St Catherine, and the College of Agriculture, Science and Education in Portland, from July 13-15.
Dr Jeff Segar led the team which gave 362 children a physical examination, basic blood tests, hearing and vision screening, pharmacy medications, when needed, and fluoride treatments. Eyeglasses were provided through a partnership with Michigan Lions Club to one in four of the children seen.
A questionnaire was developed to assist the team to identify risk factors for impaired learning, and also to assist in identifying potential future interventional measures designed to promote learning in this population. If parents had to pay out of their pockets for the medical care, eye examination and glasses, it would cost them approximately $75,000 each.