The University Hospital of the West Indies officially received a state-of-the-art A-scan Ultrasound Biometry Machine from telecommunications company Flow via the UWI Development and Endowment Fund (UWIDEF). 

The unit generally referred to as an A-scan, uses ultrasound technology to perform retinal scans and other eye examinations. The device can determine the length of the eye and can be useful in diagnosing common sight disorders, as well as measuring masses in the eyes.

A-scans are also beneficial in cataract surgeries, as they enable the Ophthalmologist to determine the power of the intraocular lens (IOL) needed for the artificial implant. Another use for A-scans is diagnosing and measuring masses in the eyes. 

UHWI Head of Ophthalmology, Dr Lizette Mowatt said the equipment will go a long way toward helping eye patients in screening, assessment and treatment. 

“This unit is a state-of-the-art one, and does several things our previous ultrasound could not do,” she said, adding “this takes us a step further and is also going to help us with research.”

Speaking to the donation, Flow Jamaica’s Managing Director, Stephen Price lauded the UWIDEF Board for its management of the Fund, and for the significant benefits provided. 

“It continues to warm the heart of everyone who is a part of the Foundation that we can contribute to the good of Jamaica and the betterment of lives of our citizens across the length and breadth of the island.” 

Receiving the unit on behalf of the hospital at the official presentation, CEO of the hospital, Kevin Allen expressed sincere gratitude for the donation and committed to maximizing the benefits through proper care. 

“As usual, we promise to faithfully observe the repairs and maintenance schedule, to keep it in service for as long as possible,” Allen said. 

In 1994, the Fund received an Initial donation of US$500,000 from the then Telecommunications of Jamaica (TOJ), the proceeds from which have been used to benefit the hospital in various ways. Beginning in 2011, some $2 million has been taken from the interest each year and used to purchase some critical piece of equipment for the hospital, an idea originating with UWIDEF Director and former President of Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS), Karl Wright.