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Japan donates $260 million worth of medical supplies to Government

KINGSTON Public Hospital (KPH) is the first of seven health facilities to receive medical supplies and equipment valued at approximately $260 million from the Japanese Government in aid in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

The other beneficiaries to receive donations include Mandeville Regional Hospital, Bustamante Hospital for Children, National Chest Hospital, May Pen Hospital, Cornwall Regional Hospital and St Ann’s Bay Hospital.

Speaking at the virtual handover ceremony yesterday, Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica Masaya Fujiwara noted that inclusive measures which are based on the idea of human security, focusing on the protection and empowerment of each individual, are important so that the most vulnerable people will not be left behind.

“Japan has been working towards the realisation of universal health coverage, but in view of the situation in which countries with vulnerable health systems are particularly affected by the current crisis, the Government of Japan had decided last year to assist these countries in strengthening their health systems by providing medical equipment necessary for that objective to be accomplished or bring the plan to fruition,” he said.

According to the ambassador, the health facilities will, among other things, receive mobile X-ray units, X-ray protective panels, X-ray protective aprons, ultrasound scanners, bedside monitors, and defibrillators.

He also said Japan will be making a contribution of US$130 million to the COVAX facility to support the provision of COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries, including Jamaica.

State minister in the Ministry of Health and Wellness Juliet Cuthbert Flynn, who received the donation on behalf of the Government of Jamaica, said, “The timing of this donation is impeccable, as the health system faces its toughest challenges. Our isolation capacity at hospitals has reached alarming levels… as the number of COVID-19 patients increase, causing a sharp rise in admissions at the hospitals across the island.”

Pointing out that Jamaica now sees almost 48 daily admissions of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases, the state minister said the health-care team is more than delighted to receive the medical equipment and supplies, which they will use to carry out duties of care to Jamaicans.

“This in no doubt will help the health-care system address persons at the various points of care and hopefully see patients spending less time in our hospitals and thus, ease the load that is placed on our health-care team,” said Cuthbert Flynn.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, meanwhile, said she was pleased with the donation made by the Japanese Government.

“The Government of Japan continues to demonstrate its commitment to strengthening the bilateral relationship and bonds of cooperation with Jamaica, particularly during this challenging time. It has been done through many initiatives, specifically aimed at supporting our country’s health sector, especially assisting our management of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

“The ultrasound machines, X-ray machines and their associated safety equipment, as well as the monitors and defibrillators, will significantly boost the Government’s efforts to provide quality health care to its citizens, during and beyond COVID-19,” she said.al health coverage

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