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OpEd: U.S. Gifts Jamaica Multi-Million Dollar Field Hospital to Help Fight COVID-19

OpEd: U.S. Gifts Jamaica Multi-Million Dollar Field Hospital to Help Fight COVID-19
Photo Credit: Jamaica Gleaner

I read with interest in today’s Sunday Gleaner (September 20, 2020) about the U.S. Gift Aid COVID-19 Field Hospital which is being installed in St Andrews.

I noted too, our increasing illness rate of almost 5,000 with 60 deaths. This stands in comparison to April, when we had 63 cases and 3 deaths.

Whilst as a nation in this pandemic, we should be grateful for such a gift, I cannot help but wonder how we have managed to find ourselves in this situation, where our island hospital systems are overflowing. Why, dependency on a field hospital, where our experts themselves have to undergo training in order to manage the unit?

When will Jamaica wake up and cease the reliance on gift aid and start to prepare properly for our people’s social health & wellbeing?

We have indeed come a long way in our history, enough to take the pride from our forefathers who fought the good fight; enough to leave us a rich legacy for this generation to remember the battle for our freedom.

COVID-19 Pandemic is world-wide and we know enough about this disease for our government to lead the way in creating a paradigm shift to focus on the nation’s health through the promotion of healthy nutrition and hygiene

programs rather than preparing us for the use of ventilators through the promotion of masks.

The sad reality is that this same protection that we promote will ultimately render our bodies susceptible and ready for the ventilator as it sensitises our system, denying us of necessary oxygen essential to a healthy respiratory system.

Over the past six months, the government has been encouraging us to stay at home with mild symptoms and to isolate unless our conditions are serious to warrant medical attention. However, with the arrival of this new hospital, I have read in the Gleaner article of the change in admissions which will include those who test positive, plus those inhibiting mild symptoms of the disease.

I use this medium to ask the Minister of Health to explain the rationale for this change.

I remain,


Marva Hewitt,

Occupational Health Specialist
[email protected]

South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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