Humanitarian organisation the Jamaica Red Cross has donated sanitisation and personal protective equipment (PPEs), valued at over J$8.6 million, to the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
The items include 16 sanitiser stations for distribution across the regional health authorities, more than 13,000 surgical gowns, and 6,000 face shields along with facial masks.
The provision was facilitated through the International Federation of the Red Cross/Crescent Societies (IFRC) COVID-19 Response Grant.
Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, minister of state in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, who was speaking during the handover ceremony at the offices of the Jamaica Red Cross in Kingston, expressed gratitude to the organisation for its gesture, which she said will aid in the fight against viral and bacterial infections and sustain hygienic healthcare practices islandwide.
“I thank the Jamaica Red Cross, and its network of over 350 volunteers, members and staff island-wide, for the unwavering support towards the public health system and, overall, the nation’s humanitarian response. We remain grateful for this kind of collaboration as we continue to improve health and well-being across the island,” Cuthbert-Flynn said.
The state minister emphasised that the items are important in supporting the availability of hygiene supplies at points of care.
“This donation carries with it a timely reminder about preventive measures. Hand hygiene and overall cleanliness are non-negotiable in any healthcare setting. These supplies, we know, will go a far way in reducing the spread of germs, viruses and bacteria,” noted the junior minister.
“By now, we all would have gained a greater appreciation for keeping our hands germ-free whether in healthcare settings, at home, in our offices or out in public,” she added.
She said mask-wearing remains imperative to the infection prevention and control measures that have been effective in the COVID-19 response.
Cuthbert-Flynn commended the Jamaica Red Cross for its commitment to the country, especially during times of crisis.
“The culture of care is alive and well through the work of the Jamaica Red Cross, whose continuity in providing relief, especially in the wake of emergencies, remains a distinct part of its legacy,” she further said.