Monday 28 September, 2020

Scotiabank supports UWI engineers aiding JSSE COVID-19 relief response

Perrin Gayle (left) , Senior Vice-President for Corporate & Commercial Banking at Scotiabank examines a simulation lung attached to a ventilator now being repaired by student engineers under the supervision of the Mona Tech Engineering Ltd. Explaining the operation is Danelle Julal (right) , an engineering student intern in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of the West Indies who has been engaged in the repairs of ventilators and other malfunctioning biomedical equipment.

Perrin Gayle (left) , Senior Vice-President for Corporate & Commercial Banking at Scotiabank examines a simulation lung attached to a ventilator now being repaired by student engineers under the supervision of the Mona Tech Engineering Ltd. Explaining the operation is Danelle Julal (right) , an engineering student intern in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of the West Indies who has been engaged in the repairs of ventilators and other malfunctioning biomedical equipment.

Scotiabank, has pledged $US5,000 to support the work of the Mona-Tech Engineering Services Limited and a small team of local engineers whose efforts are now saving millions in equipment repair and replacement costs for local hospitals.

Operated through the University of the West Indies, Mona under the guidance of Dr Paul Aiken, CEO of the Mona Technology Services in the Faculty of Engineering-UWI, Mona, the team which includes students, has already repaired and returned several pieces of bio-medical equipment such as ventilators to the public health system.

Commending the team of young engineers, Perrin Gayle, Senior Vice President, Corporate and Commercial Banking noted the banks’ keen interest in supporting home-grown talent and innovation.

“As a bank, we have consistently made donations for the purchase of medical equipment. However in this case, we are particularly heartened by this bold display of resilience and self-reliance as we tackle this global health crisis and we are happy to support,” Gayle said.

Dr Paul Aiken (2nd left), CEO of Mona Tech Engineering Ltd. chats with Perrin Gayle ( left),  Senior Vice-President for Corporate & Commercial Banking at Scotiabank and executives of the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange ( JSSE), Nora Blake (2nd right) and Andre Gooden (right) during a tour of the facility located at the University of the West Indies' Faculty of Engineering. 

“Through this donation, Scotiabank is not only furthering our commitment to bolstering the healthcare system, we are also investing in the future of Jamaican engineering competence as we navigate this defining period in our history as a country,” Gayle further noted.

Dr Aiken, in expressing gratitude on behalf of the University shared that the unit remains eager to play its part to support the local COVID-19 response.

“What we have found is that our hospitals receive donations of equipment from a variety of sources however they often lack the technical maintenance support to keep the machines in working order long term. We have taken on the challenge and in doing this we are developing the skillsets of our young engineers while inspiring them to continue using their skills to make a difference,” Aiken explained.

The funding effort for the ventilator repairs programme is being spearheaded by the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange (JSSE), a subsidiary of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), which works to improve the quality of life in Jamaica by driving investments in wholesome projects that require public funding.

Marlene Street-Forrest, Managing Director of the Jamaica Stock Exchange thanked the Bank saying: “Scotiabank has provided their support to this JSSE COVID-19 Appeal, which has enabled us to be in striking distance of our goal of $3.5m. This contribution clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of partnerships in solving social issues. We thank Scotiabank for joining us in this important initiative.”

Ventilators, sometimes called "respirators", are employed in the treatment of acute COVID-19 infections, however both locally and globally, there is a shortage of this lifesaving equipment. In May, Scotiabank funded the donation of two brand new ventilators and a high flow nasal oxygen machine to the University Hospital at a cost of $15.5 million dollars.

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