BPOs donating 18,000 masks to health authorities - West gets batch of 6,000
THE GLOBAL Services Association of Jamaica (GSAJ) – formerly the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica – is on a mission to boost the stock of personal protective equipment in the public health sector by donating 18,000 mask across the island.
Yesterday, the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA) was presented with 6,000 N95 masks, which are key equipment in guarding against infection from the coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic.
GSAJ President Gloria Henry told The Gleaner that yesterday’s donation was her organisation’s way of thanking the WRHA for its role in raising awareness within the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector on the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In March, we started working with the Ministry of Health through the WRHA. We were able to develop our guidelines and then got them looked at by the health ministry representatives in the west, and they were willing to come and help us because they understood the importance of this sector in the west,” said Henry.
Approximately 20,000 persons in western Jamaica are employed in the BPO sector.
“We’re donating 18,000 masks to the different health regions in Jamaica, but we wanted to start here because of the level of support we got from the WRHA in keeping our BPO workers safe, and in the BPO sites being assessed in their adhering to the guidelines,” Henry said about the donation, valued at $2.8 million. “The WRHA didn’t hesitate when we went to them and said we needed help.”
Errol Greene, the WRHA’s regional director, expressed gratitude for the masks, which will be distributed throughout the region’s hospitals and health centres.
“We’re proud that you have appreciated the work we’ve done together to ensure that the western region remains at the bottom of the pile in terms of COVID-19 and its damaging effects,” Greene said.
Jamaica’s BPO sector got a black eye in April when an outbreak at the Alorica call centre in Portmore, St Catherine, caused a spike in coronavirus cases in the island, triggering a St Catherine lockdown and a shutdown of BPO operations for 14 days to contain the spread. Close to 240 cases have been linked to that cluster outbreak.