Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, was today (August 12) presented with the first copy of the new Child Health and Development Passport, ahead of its official launch on August 18.
The health passport, which forms an integral part of the country’s National Strategic Health Plan, is slated for implementation on September 1. The project is being carried out in a collaboration between the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) and the Ministry of Health.
The initiative is expected to track the development of Jamaican children from birth onwards, through the use of Health Passports, instead of immunization cards. The passport will comprise comprehensive records on children from birth up to age 17 years.
Mr. Spencer, during the handing over ceremony at his office, downtown Kingston, congratulated the teams from the ECC, as well as his Ministry on the successful development of the new initiative, which he said was “a tremendous job,” completed in a relatively short time.
Director of Family Health Services in the Ministry, Dr. Karen Lewis-Bell, said the document would replace the conventional immunization card.
“The Child Health and Development Passport will become a requirement for all babies born on and after September 1,” she told JIS News. It will also incorporate the immunization records.
Dr. Lewis-Bell noted that information to be included in the document would include medical history, nutrition guidelines, growth charts and educational and developmental tips for parents.
“This is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Health and the Early Childhood Commission, as part of our National Strategic Plan for Early Childhood Development in Jamaica. The Child Health Passport is a comprehensive passport that covers the growth and development of children,” she pointed out.