When Jamaica’s 84 member CARIFTA team departs for competition on April 17, they will have one less worry about their bill of health, as the Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC) has made a bold move of providing the team with free cardio vascular screenings, valued at JA$2.5 million.
Stressing the importance of the screenings, HIC’s CEO, Professor Ernest Madu noted “Sports is such a big deal for Jamaica in so many ways and the HIC views it as our responsibility to take care of our athletes, to ensure they are fit for competition and to also encourage them to get into the habit of taking care of their heart”
“We have noted the incidences of sudden death in Jamaica and the Caribbean and so HIC is pleased to offer our athletes the best of health services as they depart on yet another mission to make Jamaica proud” he said.
While expressing gratitude to HIC for the service, Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association. (JAAA)’s President Dr. Warren Blake stated that “The reality of the sometimes fatal effects of health related ailments has become more pronounced in recent times. Yet heart screening procedures for a team as big as Jamaica’s CARIFTA delegation can often be very costly. As you’d imagine we are indeed grateful to the HIC for working with our athletes in this regard. We view this as a very bold move and a solid contribution to sports development in Jamaica”.
Under the HIC/ JAAA collaboration, all athletes on Jamaica’s 84 member CARIFTA team will receive the essential cardio vascular screenings.
To date, 40 athletes from Calabar, JC, Hydel, Ascot, St. Hago, Papine and Wolmers Girls and Boys have been screened at the Heart Institute. The screenings commenced Monday, April 7, 2014 and will continue until Tuesday, April 15.
Jamaica’s CARIFTA athletes depart the island on April 17, 2014 for Martinique where they will seek to increase their medal tally.