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Adolescent Health and Empowerment




Adolescent Health and Empowerment

The Ministry of Health is responsible for ensuring the provision of an adequate, effective and efficient health service for the population of Jamaica. Services are provided through the government’s network of twenty-three (23) hospitals and over three hundred and fifty (350) health centres and specialised institutions.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture has as its mission "To provide a system which secures quality education and training for all persons in Jamaica and achieves effective integration of educational and cultural resources in order to optimise individual and national development"

The Child Development Agency (CDA) is an executive agency of the Ministry of Health and represents an amalgamation of the Children’s Services Division, the Adoption Board and the Child Support Unit. The CDA will execute the mandate of the Child Care and Protection Act (2004). http://www.cda.gov.jm/

St. James Health Department provides assistance to the UNICEF supported teen peer counseling group WESTHELP and assists in coordinating activities. Safer sex and HIV prevention are among the issues addressed by WESTHELP.

The National AIDS Committee (NAC) is a private non-governmental organization with four main functions: To advise the Minister of Health on policy issues relevant to HIV/AIDS/STIs; To involve all sectors of society in efforts to prevent and control HIV/AIDS/STIs; To act as a central body where ideas, experiences and questions about HIV/AIDS/STIs in Jamaica can be shared, discussed and addressed; and To provide a sustainable means of supporting the initiatives of the NAC and member organizations.

 Portland AIDS Committee (Youth Arm) is one of 13 parish committees implementing the work of the National AIDS Committee on a local level. The Portland AIDS Committee has a very active youth arm which is working to provide information to young people to reduce the rate of HIV transmission among this group.

Jamaica AIDS Support is an NGO offering psycho social support, providing income earning opportunities and facilitating care and treatment and advocating for the rights of persons affected or infected by HIV.

The Centre for HIV/AIDS Research, Education and Services (CHARES), which is based at the University Hospital of the West Indies provides psycho-social support as well as medical care and treatment to persons who are HIV positive.

WESTHELP is a UNICEF-supported teen peer-counselling group based in Montego Bay, Jamaica’s second city. They deliver weekly outreach and counseling sessions about safe sex, HIV prevention and conflict resolution through the youth volunteers. 

Children First is an NGO based in Spanish Town which targets at-risk children, providing them with a safe environment, remedial education and skills training in a number of areas including videography, cosmetology and barbering. Children First also has a number of outreach activities utilising popular culture, music, dance and drama

JN plus (Jamaica Network of Seropositives) is an umbrella organisation representing persons living with HIV.



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