As an artiste, ever since achieving success with such hits as, Ã¢â‚¬Å“It WasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t MeÃ¢â‚¬Â and Ã¢â‚¬Å“AngelÃ¢â‚¬Â, Shaggy has always contributed to the less fortunate of Jamaica. A personal experience at the Bustamante Hospital opened his eyes to the obstacles children faced with receiving medical care in Jamaica, and he has since personally adopted the Bustamante Hospital for Children. In his relationship with the hospital which has spanned over seven years, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s made private donations of medical equipment, which the hospital lacked for several years. All in hopes of helping Bustamante operate more effectively and save precious lives. Equipment such as:
2001- two (2) Ventilators
2002- Electroencephalogram (EEG) Machine
2003- Table Top Sterilizing Machine
2005- Funded the Upgrade of the Medical Oxygen System
2006- Funded the Beautification of the Administrative Block
2008- Collaborated with Scotiabank to create a kiddies park & relaxation area Additionally, he has annual Christmas treats for the children where he visits all the wards, bearing gifts with Santa in tow. To add to their delight, he never leaves without performing for the children (and the staff, doctors & nurses) where heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s joined by some hand picked artistes onstage.
Last year the relationship shifted, Shaggy, was moved following another visit to the hospital. He was approached by a father, who told him that, were it not for his ventilator, his daughter, who had been shot recently, would have died. The story impacted Shaggy so profoundly that immediately Shaggy made the decision to establish his foundation, Ã¢â‚¬ËœThe Shaggy Make a Difference FoundationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ with The Bustamante Hospital for Children as a priority. The focus of this non-pro t organization is to furnish hospitals across the island with medical equipment, starting with Bustamante, (as it is particularly dear to him, serving children) and raising local and international awareness for the needs of our hospitals here in Jamaica. It is with this foundation, we wish to raise the standard in our hospitals ourselves, as Jamaicans.
On January 3, 2009, the Shaggy and Friends concert was staged, with Shaggy as host, promoter, show producer and headliner, along with performances from a slew of local and international artistes who donated their talent for the success of the concert and to ultimately benefit the childrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hospital. An unprecedented event where cross sponsorship in media, beverages etc (eg. The Gleaner and the Observer, RJR Group and CVM TV etcÃ¢â‚¬Â¦) all came together as a force to help the cause. It was a magnificent team effort all around that managed to raise approximately US$250,000 which helped supply only a few of the necessary machines that the hospital so desperately requires. However, with only eight (8) weeks of planning for a show that usually would have taken months to organize, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s amazing the team pulled it o . The Ã¢â‚¬Å“Shaggy & Friends Benefit ConcertÃ¢â‚¬Â was the first fundraiser of the recently established Ã¢â‚¬Å“Shaggy Make a Difference FoundationÃ¢â‚¬Â. The event is one which he intends to continue as an annual charity event.
Following the show, the foundation took on the task of sourcing the equipment for the Hospital. Working alongside the CEO, SMO and medical staff at Bustamante, the foundation managed to narrow the list down to affordable pieces and would be immediately benefi t the HospitalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s functions. Finding a reputable supplier in the United States responsible for furnishing such hospitals as Jackson Memorial, the foundation worked very closely with them (Medwise) and the Hospital in hopes of securing the best and most up to date refurbished and brand new equipment available. After months of research, deliberation and final selection, the equipment was purchased and arrived this August. The Shaggy & Friends Benefit Concert is slated for Saturday, January 2nd 2010.
The Bustamante Hospital for Children represents a tremendous opportunity to help preserve the lives of children.
The hospital is the only paediatric hospital in Jamaica, which offers specialized health services for children. The other hospital, which provides specialised paediatric services but is not dedicated solely to the treatment and care of children, is the University Hospital of the West Indies. This hospital has only three wards for the provision of paediatric health care and medical services.
As a result of a lack of suitable facilities available for the treatment of children, BustamanteÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s resources, both human and capital are utilized to the limit.
Dr. Ennis, Consultant Anaesthetist and Head of the Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, cites the tremendous shortage in a critical mass of staffing and medical equipment at the hospital, as one of the major challenges the facility continues to face. Consequently, the delivery of safe, timely and effective treatment of the critically ill is often challenging to say the least.
Human resource limitations at the institution mean that medical equipment is even more vital for the preservation of lives. However, Bustamante does not possess the minimum quantities of medical equipment necessary for the optimal functioning of the hospital and particularly for neo natal intensive care (care of premature babies).
Ventilation is a major part of treatment in the intensive care unit as breathing problems are the most common issue for premature babies. Currently, the hospital has only two ventilators, both of which were donated by Shaggy in 2001. Also woefully inadequate are the numbers of incubators, vital signs monitors and volumetric pumps (used to transmit fluids and medication intravenously to babies).
Although Shaggy has made significant personal contributions to the hospital since 2001:
The donation of 2 specialized ventilators, an electroencephalogram (EEG) machine (used to monitor brain activity in epileptics and seizure sufferers as well as those young patients with brain tumors), a table top sterilizing machine, funds to upgrade the medical oxygen system and other numerous donations over the years; as well as the recent significant contributions of:
4 Surgical Hospital Stretchers
3 Bair Hugger Patient Warmers
1 Blood Warmer
1 Surgical Microscope
10 OR/Examination Lamps
22 Infusion Pumps
5 Pulse Oximeters
9 Vital Signs Monitors
and 19 Syringe Pumps.
Made on behalf of the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Shaggy Make a Di fference FoundationÃ¢â‚¬Â in August 2009 valuing $250,000 worth of equipment, the Bustamante Hospital for Children is still in desperate need of assistance. Costly medical equipment and a lack of public and very little private funding continue to counteract the hospitalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ability to provide the necessary health care required to treat each child. At the moment, the staff (doctors, nurses, administration etc..) perform virtual miracles despite the shortage of resources at the hospital. The HospitalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s partnership with the Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation has not only assisted with the physical needs of the Hospital but has also gone a long way towards raising the morale amongst stage (Medical and Administration).