By Rochelle Williams
KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – Jamaica’s coronavirus (COVID-19) response is being strengthened by the provision of essential medical equipment and supplies donated by the British High Commission, through the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) Jamaica country office.
Approximately 90,000 N95 respirators, 188,000 medical masks, 80,000 antigen rapid diagnostic test kits, 73,100 face shields and nine oxygen concentrators were handed over to the ministry of health and wellness on Monday, October 26, during a ceremony held at the PAHO/WHO Jamaica office, located on the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus, St Andrew.
Also involved in the donation, valued at more than US$1 million, was the United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Fund.
In her address, State minister in the ministry of health and wellness, Juliet Cuthbert Flynn, thanked the British High Commission for the donation, particularly the antigen testing kits, which she said will be a “game-changer” in the country’s COVID-19 control efforts.
“The world has been waiting on a vaccine and until this is developed, we wanted something quicker than waiting several days to find out if a person is positive or not and with the hospitals [under pressure], this partnership is going to be very beneficial and the people and government of Jamaica are grateful for this partnership,” she said.
The State minister also emphasised the importance of multi-partnership cooperation in winning the fight against COVID-19.
“We are interlinked and we are depending on each other to eliminate COVID-19. I am heartened for this and I would like to thank the partners for this donation, Cuthbert Flynn said.
Meanwhile, British High Commissioner to Jamaica, Asif Ahmad, said they remain committed partners of the government of Jamaica in the fight against COVID-19.
“This marks our contribution to Jamaica through the WHO and PAHO in particular as the regional body, to make sure that critical supplies related to COVID get to people in need. This is to protect health workers to make sure they are properly equipped with garments, masks and everything else, but most critical are the rapid test kits. Our contribution is about 30,000 but there are another 50,000 from other donors. This is one way we are addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in Jamaica,” he said.