Jamaican company makes international mask deal


Jamaican company makes international mask deal

NovaMed partners with Hong Kong-based company to acquire mask production line in China

Observer business writer

Sunday, May 10, 2020

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Jamaican-based health-care company NovaMed is taking advantage of the worldwide demand for COVID-19-related masks, partnering with a Hong Kong-based company to acquire a mask production line in China.

NovaMed, which operates out of Kingston, has taken on the task of assisting the Caribbean to meet its COVID-19-related mask needs, partnering with DHB Global. Both companies have acquired a production line in China, which will assist with the manufacture and distribution of masks.

DHB Global is an American-owned health care advisory company with 25 years' experience in the Chinese market. The collective has supplied a wide portfolio of health care personal protective equipment (PPE) and test equipment to over 14 public and private health systems, including India, as well as large corporations and has ensured smooth and successful delivery in all cases.


NovaMed will be producing at high volumes while being responsive to the comparatively lower order volumes of smaller nations, such as Caribbean island states. Since the COVID- 19 pandemic the global demand for medical masks has skyrocketed, resulting in hoarding in some countries and smaller countries being outbidded for shipments of masks.

The wearing of these masks is being used as one of the strategy for containing the pandemic. Meeting supply volumes for essential workers and front-liners like health-care workers, as well as citizens, is crucial for public safety.

In Jamaica's case, the need for smaller amounts in comparison to the large orders from more economically powerful countries than Jamaica actually poses a problem.

Dr David Walcott, founder of NovaMed, explains, “Without an adequate supply of medical-grade masks, we will not have a real chance at protection and prevention, but it is understandably difficult for our relatively small orders to be prioritised by suppliers in the face of much larger orders.”

To illustrate his point, Walcott made reference to the Japanese conglomerate, Softbank, which is acquiring 300 million masks per month for the foreseeable future. The local medical supplier notes that major face mask manufacturers have exercised their leverage in demanding unusual terms of purchase including full payment prior to start producing.

These demands, he argues, take a more noticeable toll on populations with lower purchasing power countries like Jamaica. NovaMed founding partner, Kirk-Anthony Hamilton, hailed the partnership with DHB Global to help combat these issues.


According to Hamilton, “We partnered with DHB because we need ethical and reliable suppliers. They do a full inspection of products on the ground and coordination of logistics to ensure timely and safe delivery. DHB utilises predictive algorithms to ensure that optimal delivery amounts are received in good time.”

Globally, institutional purchasers have reported millions in losses in cases where no supplies have been delivered. Dr Walcott explains that secure channels of procurement have become crucial in ensuring legitimate supply.

He discloses that some items have been halted by customs, seized by other countries or sometimes poor quality is clearly noticeable on receipt. “This is no surprise given such a chaotic and volatile supply chain environment. In this environment traditional supply chains do not work,” Walcott states.

He emphasises the importance to engage suppliers like NovaMed that have secure channels through which the legitimacy and movement of equipment is guaranteed.

Hamilton states that NovaMed has activated its multidimensional global networks in a bid to arrest the challenges of a highly disrupted supply chain, ensuring stakeholders are able to access the equipment they need efficiently.

NovaMed, founded by Dr Walcott and Hamilton, was launched in 2018 to resource the Caribbean health-care ecosystem with leading technologies and global partnerships, a mission it has executed successfully. The duo is known for their work on the Visionaries Summit, a platform designed to drive investment, innovation and commerce in the region.

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