A total of 48 hospital beds were procured from the $11.3 million (CAD $100,000) donation by the Government of Canada to the Ministry of Health and Wellness. The donation was done through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) and in support of Jamaica’s COVID-19 response.
High Commissioner of Canada to Jamaica, Emina Tudakovic, speaking at the handover ceremony held at the St. Joseph’s Hospital, reiterated that Canada remains committed to supporting the efforts of the Jamaican government in the fight against COVID-19. “With the high positivity rate and increased occupancy rates we’ve seen at hospitals over the last couple weeks, the need for additional beds has become even more critical. There is no doubt that there is an urgent need for these beds, nor is there any doubt as to whether or not they will be put to good use. Jamaicans are well known to be resilient people, and so, Canada is very happy to stand in support of this timely and relevant initiative which will directly support the expansion of COVID-19 wards at the St. Joseph’s and Falmouth Field Hospitals. We hope that the provision of these beds will help to improve the overall capacity of Jamaica’s health system and healthcare workers in the provision of effective medical care for persons with COVID-19” said the High Commissioner.
“The hospital as an institution and the health care workers, have been very keen in providing support and so the beds are going to be very important particularly now, as I said, we’re seeing some nearly 90 per cent occupancy in a number of our hospital covid wards,” he said.
Minister Tufton noted that the government will be taking the necessary steps in the coming weeks to ensure the safety of Jamaicans while containing the spread of the Delta COVID-19 variant.
The provision of additional bed spaces remains an essential part of the Government of Jamaica’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts and directly responds to the increasing demand for medical care.
About the Canada Fund:
The CFLI is a program designed to support small-scale, high-impact projects in developing countries, which align with Global Affairs Canada’s thematic priority areas for engagement. The program is directed at projects conceived and designed predominantly by local partners. Projects are selected and approved by the High Commission of Canada in Jamaica. The CFLI also serves to support positive bilateral relations between Canada and recipient countries and their civil societies, by deepening contacts and supporting local endeavours.
About Canada’s Covid-19 Response:
The Government of Canada has allocated CAD$159.5 million in funding to support global efforts to address the COVID-19 outbreak. The funding will support the provision of medical supplies and services; increase water, sanitation, and hygiene services; enhance public information on COVID-19 risk mitigation and help strengthen local capacity to scale up for the response.