Mon | Oct 25, 2021

Charitable organisations to address COVID-19 needs in hospitals

Published:Friday | September 17, 2021 | 12:08 AM

THE COUNCIL of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS), Americans Friends of Jamaica (AFJ), Food For The Poor and the Jarrett Foundation have collaborated to launch a campaign to address the shortfall in medical supplies and equipment now being experienced by hospitals as a result of the surge in COVID-19 cases across the island.

The campaign, dubbed ‘Emergency Aid for Jamaican Hospitals’, was launched this week as part of the AFJ’s ‘Choose a Cause’ with the objective to solicit donations from local and international partners to address the current shortfall in medical supplies and equipment needed to provide urgent care to COVID-19 patients.

Nancy Pinchas, executive director of the CVSS which is managing the campaign, said the effort was necessary because of the crisis now being experienced at the island’s hospitals.

“The Ministry of Health and Wellness has made a plea to assist in the procurement of medical equipment. The situation is dire, and the capacity has exceeded the hospitals’ ability to handle the surge in COVID-19 cases,” she explained.

The campaign will be short-term and once all COVID-19 wards across the island obtain a manageable capacity, the campaign will close.

The secondary objective of the campaign is to acquire equipment that will enable the public health facilities to respond to an increased demand due to any other possible wave of COVID-19, or any similar pandemic in the future.

Request for donations are being done locally and overseas. The collaboration involves Food for the Poor coordinating freight and logistical services from Miami, Florida to Kingston, Jamaica. Meanwhile, the Jarrett Foundation will coordinate a similar campaign from its base in the United Kingdom.

Persons interested in donating to the campaign may do so via the following website at JAHospitalAid.org; call the CVSS at (876) 906-0065 and email at info@cvssja.org.

This is the second such initiative being spearheaded by the CVSS and other partners since the start of the pandemic. The CVSS spearheaded a substantial collaborative project together with the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), AFJ and United Way of Jamaica in 2020, in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Through the PSOJ COVID- 19 Jamaica Response Fund, 73,000 long-duration food packages were distributed; 10,000 cooked meals; 60,000 masks were delivered; and J$200 million in cash and kind were mobilised last year.