Foundation donates $32m in equipment, supplies to COVID-19 fightMonday, April 06, 2020
ADDING to a well-documented history of assistance to the island's health and education sectors, the Issa Trust Foundation, under the leadership of Chairman Paul Issa and the patronage of Sir Patrick and Lady Allen, has joined the fight against the new coronavirus.
The foundation, the non-profit arm of Couples Resorts Jamaica, has donated US$238,000 ($32 million) in equipment and supplies to the country in its COVID-19 response efforts.
The items include two GE ventilators valued at $3 million, a new portable X-ray machine worth $2 million, and a 40-foot container of supplies and equipment valued at $27 million — comprising suction machines, beds, stretchers, an ultrasound machine, infusion pumps, hand sanitisers, gowns, gloves, an electrocardiogram machine, and other essential items.
“Couples Resorts and Issa Trust Foundation are committed to working with the Ministry of Health [and Wellness] to strengthen capacity for Jamaica's public health care system,” Issa said in a statement.
“We thank all our partners, particularly Partners for World Health, for rising up to support our heroes on the front lines as we care for everyone in Jamaica that relies on critical equipment and supplies during this unprecedented time,” added President and Chief Executive Officer Diane Pollard.
The foundation's ongoing assistance to the health sector has drawn praises from both Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton and wife of the prime minister and Member of Parliament for St Andrew East Rural Juliet Holness.
Dr Tufton, in responding to the near $34-million contribution towards the paediatric ward at the St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital by the foundation in 2018, told JIS News that, “I want to place on record our appreciation for these acts of goodwill to Jamaica.”
“The truth is that the Government can't do everything. And this is not an excuse, it is a reality, particularly as it relates to public health, as the demands of the system keep getting more and more,” he said.
The minister said that what “these acts of kindness” have reaffirmed is that health care is, indeed, a family event, adding that it brings into sharp focus the importance of bringing quality health care to the country and to the population.
Last year the foundation also partnered with Lions Club of Michigan and the Altoona, Iowa, Vision Mission Team to hold three days of free vision clinics for children and young adults, aged six months to 22 years, at the Oracabessa Church of God in St Mary.
“The mission team, which comprised four optometrists, a licensed medical doctor, a licensed optician, and 15 volunteer technicians, assisted in providing comprehensive eye examinations and fitting children with glasses, free of charge,” Pollard noted.
“For five years, the Issa Trust Foundation and the Lions Club of Michigan have worked together to bring teams... to provide comprehensive eye examinations and 4,700 pairs of eyeglasses to children in our community,” she added.
The Issa Trust Foundation was established in 2005 by Couples Resorts. Its mission is to provide a system of prevention, health promotion and education, community health improvement, and other services to promote the well-being and development of the people of Jamaica.
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