Issa Trust Foundation donates $40m in medical supplies to NERHA
The Issa Trust Foundation (ITF) on Saturday handed over personal protective equipment and medical equipment valued at US$286,529 (approximately J$40 million) to the North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA) in a ceremony at Couples Tower Isle hotel.
The donation, provided with the assistance of Direct Relief, an international humanitarian aid organisation, is to be distributed among the five hospitals and 72 health centres in the north-east region that comprises St Ann, St Mary, and Portland.
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton who spoke at the handing over, hailed the donation and said that he move by the ITF represents the type of collaborative effort needed to combat the COVID-19 disease, noting that no individual entity can successfully conquer the pandemic.
“I would like to use this contribution today that the Issa Trust Foundation is making available to highlight the need for us to work together, to coordinate and to collaborate more to renew our trust in the process to working as a collaborative force so that ultimately, we can all be better off as a people,” the minister stated.
He said the equipment, which includes protective gear for front-line staff, forms an important part of the response that is needed at this time.
“Clearly, government provides a lot of it, but to the extent that the Issa Trust Foundation can assist in that regard, as they have been in the past, is a very positive thing because ultimately, it is going to work to all our benefit.”
Howard Mitchell, chairman of the National Health Fund and a director of the ITF, noted that over the last five years, the foundation has given US$30 million (nearly J$5 billion) in assistance to the medical field in Jamaica.
“And from what I have seen, it has made a substantial difference in the lives of the people who are affected, who go to hospital, who become sick, and who remain healthy in this region,” Mitchell said.
“Now,just think how much more we could do if we cooperate. Just think how much more people we could benefit if we recognised and trumpeted and put out there the actual impact that this money, this equipment, these medical supplies, this training have on the lives of our fellow Jamaicans.”
Chief executive officer of the St Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital Delroy Morgan, in welcoming the donation, said his hospital has been a big beneficiary of the ITF’s generosity over the years. He said doctors, nurses, and especially the patients will welcome this latest donation.
President and chief executive officer of the ITF Diane Pollard thanked everyone at Direct Relief “who have worked tirelessly to ensure pharmaceutical medications meet the needs of the people of Jamaica”.
“They’ve donated millions of dollars of life-saving medical supplies and equipment and pharmacy meds to help families and children in Jamaica,” she added.