Digicel Foundation donates PPE worth $1 million to KPH
Founder and Patron of Digicel Foundation, Denis O'Brien (centre), making the symbolic presentation of personal protective equipment to Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton on Wednesday at the Digicel headquarters in Kingston. Looking on is Digicel Foundation CEO Charmaine Daniels. (Photos: Marlon Reid)
Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) will benefit from a donation of $1 million in personal protective equipment (PPE) from Digicel Foundation to shore up the health facility's response in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Founder and Patron of Digicel Foundation, Denis O'Brien made the symbolic presentation to Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, on Wednesday at the Digicel headquarters in downtown Kingston.
The equipment are comprised of 2,000 KN95 masks, 1,000 surgical masks, full body reusable gowns, 30 surgical masks and face shields. They were expected to be delivered to the hospital later on Wednesday.
According to O'Brien, Digicel Foundation is delighted to partner with KPH to provide the ongoing PPE needs for the healthcare workers at the facility, to enable them to be better able to serve the population.
O'Brien... We are delighted to be involved in making this donation.
"We are delighted to be involved in making this donation and we know that it is going to be put to good use and, like everybody, we are so concerned for the health workers here in Jamaica, that they remain safe and healthy doing the work that they do.
"Kingston Public Hospital is one of the best hospitals in the region and the professionalism and the care that they give to people who are sick and unwell are standard," O'Brien said.
Tufton believes that it will take private sector companies partnering with the government of Jamaica to overcome the island's COVID-19 challenge with the more than 17,000 public healthcare workers playing a pivotal role.
"We have a good team and the public health workers have demonstrated what we always knew, that they are committed to their work and they are committed to the health and wellness of the population.
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"This COVID challenge that we face that has caused the world to pause in so many respects, is another indication of why we need to work together as a world, in order to advance the purpose of mankind.
"I think Digicel with its wide reach and other related interests attached to Digicel's perspective, will recognise the importance of that, that COVID has really slowed us down across the globe and as a consequence it is going to be important for a united front, to join forces, whether we are in industry, in the public service or otherwise, to deal with this risk that we face," Tufton said.
Senior Medical Officer at KPH, Dr Natalie Whylie said, with the medical facility being the leading public health hospital on the island, the PPEs will be vital, especially since the government is currently opening up the island to returning Jamaicans, tourists and the economy in general.
"We are extremely grateful for the generosity of Digicel as it demonstrates social responsibility. Personal Protective Equipment is critical and we have seen first-world countries struggle to meet their needs and we know that Jamaica is not a first-world country.
"So the gift today is tremendous because it will bolster the hospital's ability to continue to manage. It is really about public/private partnerships that will allow all Jamaicans to really rise to the COVID-19 challenge," Whylie said.