Department of Child and Adolescent Health


The children’s ward at the University College Hospital was established in 1952 on Ward 3 with a bed complement of 36.  The newborn care took place in a smaller room on the Obstetric block.  Paediatric Surgery service was shared with Ward 1 with the adult female surgical patients. 

In 1961 the Paediatric Block was established as a temporary structure housing 50 medical beds and 25 surgical beds, and  the Special Care Nursery was established with 40 cots in the new Obstetric Block.  Four Paediatric beds in the Observational Ward in Casualty were also established.

On the 1st January 1964 the Department of Paediatric was established as there was separation from the Department of Medicine.


Dr. Derrick Jelliffe was the first Senior Lecturer appointed to the Department of Child Health in 1952. Professor Bach was the first Professor of Paediatrics who was appointed in 1966. Professor Colin Miller was the first Jamaican Professor appointed to the Department

There was a merger of the Department of Child Health with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology which was instituted in August 1996 following the directive from the new governance of the UWI. On August 1, 2010 the Section of Child Health was reinstated as an independent Department in the Faculty of Medical Sciences. The Department applied for a name change and this was granted by the University in December 2011.  The new name was now The Department of Child and Adolescent Health.



Clinical Services

Dr. Patricia Burke, Paediatrician, established the Family Centre for Patients with HIV/AIDS in 1987.  Several clinics have been established over the past twenty years offering a range of Paediatric services.  These include the General Paediatric Clinic, Nephrology, Child Guidance Clinic, Infectious Disease Clinic, Pulmonology Clinic and others seen below.

Children's Activity Centre

The Department of Child and Adolescent Health offers a learning and activities programme for children who are admitted to the paediatric wards. This programme is geared at helping children ‘keep up’ with school work while being hospitalised as well as facilitating their adjustment to hospital. The Centre initially consisted of a rooms located in close proximity to Ward 14. The programmes were carried out by a trained teacher, two activity workers, a cadre of volunteers, pastoralteam (on call), the medical social work department and a clinical psychologist who co-ordinates the programme working in conjunction with the medical and nursing staff.  Over recent years there has not been the same cadre of staff and this activity manned mainly by volunteers.

Paediatric HIV/AIDS Service

There is a full service for hospitalized and ambulatory paediatric patients with HIV/ AIDS.  The Elizabeth Glaser Paediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) in collaboration with the UWI funded two nursing posts to assist in improving paediatric and perinatal HIV patients care.  These nurses are augmenting the services that are already being provided by CHARES.

Child Welfare Clinic 

This clinic seen well babies that were born at the UniversityHospital of the West Indies and come and receive their well baby care and immunizations.  This clinics takes place three times per week and on the Tuesdays the BCG vaccine is given.  The mothers receive educational talks by the staff and this is where the medical students get their first exposure to well baby care. 

Paediatric Casualty

This service is offered five days a week in the Department of Casualty.  It is run by the Paediatric staff.  Most of them can be dealt with as in a walk in clinic.  The more severe cases that need more intense care are referred to the Paediatric wards for further management.  Other cases which are not emergencies but need further follow-up care are referred to the appropriate Paediatric clinic.

In Service

There are two medical paediatric wards, ward 15 and 16, which comprise of 44 beds.

Special Care Nursery

There is the Special Care Nursery which take cares of the neonate with special needs.  Most of these neonates are born at this hospital but occasionally referrals are accepted from other hospital throughout the island.


Research in the Department concentrates on 4 main areas which include:

  1. Infectious diseases including Paediatric HIV/AIDS
  2. Child Development and Behaviour which includes work on autism
  3. Maternal nutrition and its impact on fetal and newborn outcome
  4. Neonatal outcomes including prematurity and low birth weight infants


Contact the Department of Child and Adolescent Health at 876-970-0329 or fax 876-927-1446