Categorized | National News

BTC Donates $100K To PMH SickKids Telemedicine

Hundreds of children who need access to foreign medical expertise will be able to get it thanks to a $100,000 donation from the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC).

The donation is part of BTC’s pledge to donate $320,000 to community initiatives to mark the country’s 40th independence anniversary.

It will go to the SickKids Telemedicine Lab in the Oncology Department in the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH).

During the official unveiling ceremony at the Oncology Department yesterday, BTC Senior Manager of Public Relations Jerome Sawyer told those gathered that the donation takes him back to his journalism days.

He said at one point, he interviewed a man named Donavan, whose young daughter Malia eventually lost her battle to cancer.

“In my 20 years as a journalist, I think that was probably the most difficult thing I have ever done. Her story touched the lives of so many Bahamians. I think that was one of the shows where we received the most calls and the most feedback because people were really touched by the story and wanted to know what they could do to help,” Mr. Sawyer said.

“In the many months after that show [Donavan and I] would often talk and in my mind I would often say ‘Jerome, how can you assist?’ And so when SickKids representatives came to BTC, it seemed like divine intervention to me because it spoke to a desire I had personally to do something so Malia’s death and Donavan’s recovery and the death of so many others young children in The Bahamas as a result of cancer, would not be in vein.”

He added, “We at BTC recognise that a nation’s advancement is through its people and as a major employer in The Bahamas. BTC is involved in the welfare of many families. We believe that good health care and education offer the best chance for a productive and happy life, which is why BTC supports so many endeavours that benefit the youth of our country.”

The telemedicine generally refers to the use of communications and information technologies for the delivery of clinical care.

Health Minister Dr. Perry Gomez also spoke about the importance of BTC’s donation and telemedicine.

“Our objective is simple – to make sure that children suffering from these maladies whether in Canada or in the Caribbean have the best chance of early diagnosis a full range of options for treatment of clinical care and at the end of the day, the best chance for optimal outcome,” he said.

“We’re always grateful when corporate Bahamas steps up in the best interest of philanthropy assist the public sector in achieving a new milestone that will benefit the Bahamian people. In this instance we are pleased to commemorate the generous support of the telecommunications company who have partnered with us by providing technical assistance and donating five years of internet service to the Sick Children’s hospital.”

Telemedicine has been offered to select Family Islands from 2010.

“As we unveil the plague to launch of the SickKids Caribbean Project here in The Bahamas, I believe that we are unveiling a path to the future – a brighter future when not only our Bahamian islands but our entire world is far more interwoven and jointly resourced facing the challenges of the 21st century with the best of the 21st century technology,” Dr. Gomez said.

Officials say the programme has helped 195 children so far throughout the region.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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