Behind Tourists’ Eye: Jamaica

A study by UNICEF 2009 shows that significant disparities exist in Jamaica regarding child protection, nutrition, education and health.  This is largely due to a lack of governmental policies.  In light of the weakened fiscal capability of the Jamaican government, new projects need to be implemented to improve how Jamaican programs address the issue of poverty in Jamaica.  The study found that Jamaican children significantly benefit from basic services given from the government.  Their programs are successful, increasing health and decreasing diseases such as diarrheal disease by significant percentages. However the overall quality of the services needs to be improved and the inequalities of access to these services need to be removed. The study shows that good nutrition is the foundation of good health.  Lack there of results in an inability for children to function properly and to fight diseases. Understanding this, the government has implemented meal plans and feeding programs to improve the nutritional status of the schools. The survey shows the success of these programs, however there are also large discrepancies in where these programs are focused.  The consequences can be seen in factors such as the frequency of diarrheal disease.  The survey indicated that Jamaican children in big households in rural areas are far more vulnerable to diarrhea, and yet far less likely to receive appropriate medication.  Thus the percentage of children in rural, crowded communities have much higher rates of deaths by diarrheal diseases.  While the Jamaican government is on the right tract towards improving the health of children, their programs need to focus more on the areas where child health is the worst.  As the video, Life and Debt (2004) points out, there is a lot issues that need to be addressed that lie behind what the touristic Jamaica portray.

 

http://www.unicef.org/jamaica/Child_Poverty_and_Disparity_in_Jamaica.pdf

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