Mon | Sep 20, 2021

US gov’t strengthens Jamaica’s field hospital response

Published:Monday | May 3, 2021 | 12:12 AM
US Army South Deputy Commanding General for Interoperability, Brigadier General Alcides V. Faria (third from right), listens keenly to Minister of State in the Ministry of Health & Wellness, Juliet Cuthbert Flyn, during a recent tour of the US-funded mobil
US Army South Deputy Commanding General for Interoperability, Brigadier General Alcides V. Faria (third from right), listens keenly to Minister of State in the Ministry of Health & Wellness, Juliet Cuthbert Flyn, during a recent tour of the US-funded mobile field hospital based at the Spanish Town Hospital in St Catherine. Looking on are (from left) Director of Emergency, Disaster Management and Special Services in the Ministry of Health & Wellness, Dr Nicole Dawkins-Wright; Chief Executive Officer at the Spanish Town Hospital, Dwayne Francis; US Defense Attaché Lieutenant Commander Robert Ramsay, and Inspector General in the Jamaica Defence Force,Commander David Chin Fong.

On April 30, Brigadier General Alcides Faria, the United States (US) Army South deputy commanding gneral for iteroperability, toured the US government-funded mobile field hospital currently deployed in Spanish Town, St Catherine, along with State Minister in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn. This field hospital is the first of three expected to be donated by the US Government to the Government and people of Jamaica.

During the visit, the US delegation discussed a second US-funded mobile field hospital that arrived in Jamaica in early April, and Faria announced the delivery of a third mobile field hospital from US Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) to arrive in the coming months. USSOUTHCOM intends to donate one of the mobile field hospitals to the Jamaican Defence Force Disaster Assistance Response team to amplify its response to a local or regional humanitarian crisis or sudden onset of disaster. The hospital donated in September 2020 is currently being used to support patients impacted by the COVID-19 virus, demonstrating the versatility of these mobile units.

Once the second mobile hospital is placed and the third one is delivered, Jamaica will be home to the largest mobile field hospital capability in the Western Hemisphere. Each mobile field hospital is valued at J$106 million.

USSOUTHCOM continues to seek opportunities to partner and collaborate with Jamaica’s humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts to synchronise future emergency response.

Faria’s visit highlights the enduring US-Jamaica partnership and serves to further strengthen cooperation on disaster relief response to Jamaica. He met with representatives of the Government of Jamaica, including the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management and JDF leadership. The brigadier general’s visit strengthened ties with key stakeholders on disaster response in Jamaica, helping to reaffirm coordination mechanisms, while identifying potential areas for further cooperation.