Jamaica National Group donates $1.5m to Nurses Association

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Jamaica National Group donates $1.5m to Nurses Association

Sunday, May 24, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Jamaica National Group has donated $1.5 million to the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ), to assist nurses in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

The company said the donation was made through its recently launched Welfare Fund which is aimed at supporting Jamaicans in their response to the effects of the disease.

President of the NAJ, Carmen Johnson said the funds will be used to purchases additional personal protective equipment for nurses across the island.

“Our greatest concern is that we do not want our members to be overly exposed to COVID-19,” she pointed out. Therefore, what we have agreed to do with that money is to source cloth masks for all our nurses; and we want to ensure that they have pockets so that they can change the filter,” Johnson said recently during the JN 'Circle Catch Up' virtual series.

She also noted that discrimination from the public and within healthcare facilities continues to be a challenge for nurses, although there has been some improvement in attitudes.

“The greatest challenge that we have presently is two-fold. One, is the fact that we still have some level of discrimination, both in and out of the care facilities and the reason we are getting is because of the fear factor. Persons fear catching COVID-19 and one of the things is that they see our nurses as the transmission mode of the disease,” she said.

She noted that the attitude of taxi operators towards nurses has improved and nurses are no longer being shunned, but she said the curfew poses a challenge to those who need to access transportation, especially in rural areas.

Johnson said members of the public must play their part to keep the number of COVID-19 cases down.

“We can't wait until our numbers start to surge and our deaths increase, as we see happening elsewhere on our television, or hear on our radios. Therefore, everyone needs to really start playing their part, practice proper hand washing hygiene; but most of all, stay home if you don't have to come out,” she urged.

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