Sat | Oct 23, 2021

UHWI gets US$90,000 worth of medical supplies from AFJ

Published:Tuesday | August 3, 2021 | 2:35 PM
State Minister in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn (right), and Caron Chung, Executive Director of the American Friends of Jamaica, examining medical supplies handed over to the University Hospital of the West Indies by the organisation on August 3, 2021 – Ian Allen photo.

The American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) today donated two containers of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) valued at over US$90,000.

The items include 20,000 KN95 masks, disposable gowns, 32,825 coveralls, and isolation gowns.

AFJ executive director Caron Chung revealed that this is the second donation of its kind made to Jamaica in less than 18 months.

Like the organisation's first donation made in March 2020, this contribution was facilitated through its partnership with the St Francis Hospital of Connecticut.

AFJ president Wendy Hart explained, “We had a relationship with St Francis and the very first thing we did was to have a PPE shipment like what we did today. As the borders closed in March, our first delivery happened that month to UHWI and to other hospitals that were on the frontline of treating patients in the pandemic.”

She added that this donation was made possible by the relationships established by the AFJ over its decades of existence.

Founded in 1982 by members of the Diaspora and Americans, the AFJ is dedicated to supporting charitable initiatives in Jamaica.

The organisation focuses on education, healthcare, and economic development.

Some of its other partnerships include its engagement with the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) on its COVID-19 response effort, which focused on supplying food to those in need.

The organisation also established its Connected JA fund, which has provided 500 tablets to support the Ministry of Education's 'One Laptop or Tablet Per Child' initiative.

Its most recent endeavour is its vaccine fund, which is supporting the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine locally.

State Minister in the Ministry of Health of Wellness, Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, expressed appreciation for the donations in light of the fact that Jamaica has recorded more than 53,000 cases of COVID-19 and over 1,200 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

“The reality is that we need all hands on deck at this time and so we are grateful for this contribution,” she said.

- David Salmon

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