Kingston, Jamaica. 15 December 2021. In a handover ceremony on 15 December 2021, the European Union together with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) provided the Government of Jamaica with a donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and laboratory supplies. The consignment included 12,500 N95 Respirators, 18,750 Isolation Gowns, and 60 Viral RNA Test Kits.
The supplies were procured through the Programme of Support for Health Security Strengthening for Prevention and Control of Outbreaks of Communicable Diseases in the Caribbean, which is being implemented by CARPHA and financed by the European Union.
“We at CARPHA are pleased to provide support to the Government and People of Jamaica in their continued fight against COVID-19. This ceremony today signals our continued efforts to aid the citizens of our Member States. CARPHA works closely with Member States to identify needs and provides support, as necessary,” said Dr. Joy St. John, Executive Director of CARPHA, who joined the ceremony remotely from the agency’s headquarters in Trinidad.
“The European Union has provided support to aid CARPHA Member States’ national COVID-19 preparedness and response and has financed the procurement of much needed medical supplies, inclusive of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and Medical and Laboratory equipment. The provision of PPE and test kits to Jamaica would not have been possible without this support. The PPE will help frontline workers to stay safe while performing their duties amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The test kits capable of producing 15,000 tests (250 tests per kit) will go a long way to help Jamaica conduct tests expeditiously, thus contributing to detecting infections early,” she added.
Mr. Fredrik Ekfeldt, Chargé d’affaires a.i. European Union Delegation to Jamaica stated “This supply of equipment is only one of the many interventions supported through our grant funding with CARPHA. Additional equipment and technical assistance form part of a shared strategic approach, aimed at strengthening the capacity of public health systems in the region to deliver quality and efficient health services.”
“The scientists tell us that vaccination of the majority of the population is an absolute certainty to reduce the effects of this pandemic. I would like to thank CARPHA for their continuous work in public health with the countries of the Caribbean region; and the Government of Jamaica for affording the EU this opportunity to partner on this and other interventions as together we fight against COVID-19.” he said further.
Receiving the commodities, the Hon. Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, Minister of State, Ministry of Health & Wellness, Jamaica said “Our nation is pleased to note the programme funding provided by the EU, a longstanding international partner, and CARPHA's leadership and its implementation as it moves the region towards improved public health and sustainable health security. These continue to be valuable partnerships symbolising international and regional coordination that effectively supports the island in the face of public health emergencies. Today's ceremony shows that strengthening health systems in Caribbean populations is a priority.”
The European Union grant seeks to improve health security and strengthen the capacity of CARPHA Member States for the detection, surveillance, prevention, control, and response to epidemics of Communicable diseases, such as COVID-19. The Grant supports CARPHA Member States’ national COVID-19 preparedness and response and has financed the procurement of requisite medical supplies. The grant is part of the much larger programme to strengthen health systems for Universal Health Coverage. The Secretariat of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), an important partner of CARPHA, has supported the agency’s access to these important resources for its regional COVID-19 response.
More information about CARPHA’s Regional Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Programme of Support for Health Security Strengthening for Prevention and Control of Outbreaks of Communicable Diseases in the Caribbean.
Left to right: Mr. Gabrio Marinozzi, Attaché, Cooperation section, Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica, Belize, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and The Cayman Islands; the Hon. Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, Minister of State, Ministry of Health & Wellness, Jamaica; Ms. Nicole Ennis, Head, CARPHA Medicines Quality and Control SurveillanceDepartment and Mr. Fredrik Ekfeldt, Chargé d’affaires a.i. European Union Delegation to Jamaica.
(Online) Dr. Joy St. John, CARPHA Executive Director