In response to a seeming rise in incidents of Sudden Cardiac Death in high school-aged athletes, Jamaicans Abroad Helping Jamaicans At Home Foundation (JAH JAH) has partnered with Team Jamaica Bickle (TBJ), Inter-Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA) and Jamaica International Female Football Development (JIFFD) to launch the One Love, One Heart Program. One Love, One Heart is an ongoing screening, monitoring and education program for male and female student athletes across the island.
The One Love, One Heart Program launches as part of JAH JAH Foundation’s annual mission trip- Mission for Change 2015- and brings together sports and medical volunteer organizations from the US and Jamaica. “We are excited about being at the forefront of this initiative. This is exactly the type of work that TBJ is committed to- programs that promote healthy lifestyles,” said TBJ Founder, Irwin Clare. TBJ is a 501© (3) non-profit organization that provides assistance for fledgling Jamaican athletes and their coaches to participate in the Penn Relays. Under the theme “Promoting Health Lifestyles”, TJB launched a series of 5K’s in New York and Fort Lauderdale, to sensitize our community in the importance of wellness. Over the years, TJB has received several proclamations and awards from local and national entities. TBJ serves as the facilitating group in Jamaica, helping to coordinate athletes’ participation along with individual schools and ISSA.
JIFFD, a South Florida based 501© (3) organization providing programs for sports, education, health and social development for young females in Jamaica and across its Diaspora is also a program partner. JIFFD is coordinating the program’s workshops on nutrition.
“Four schools have been targeted as a pilot for the One Love, One Heart Program. Our team of medical volunteers will provide echocardiograms to the athletes to collect baseline data and assess the health of their heart and their general health. We will also provide ongoing education and monitoring to prevent fatalities. In some of the cases, young people have very little indications that something is wrong. Through screening, monitoring and education we can inform young athletes and their families on ways to take care of themselves while training and competing,” said Dr. Trevor Dixon, emergency physician and founder of JAH JAH Foundation. A CPR training presentation will also be provided to students and coaches so they can better handle cases of emergency.
Students from St. Jago High School, Vere Technical and St. Andrew Technical High Schools, GC Foster are scheduled for screenings and workshops January 19th, through 21st at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston. Visit http://jahjahfoundation.org/mission-for-change-2015/ for more information on One Love, One Heart.