Kingston, Jamaica, January 18, 2021 (PAHO/WHO) – The Federal Republic of Germany and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) have partnered to bolster Jamaica’s health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a handover ceremony on Tuesday, January 18, 2021, Mr. Ian Stein, PAHO/WHO Representative in Jamaica, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands and Mr. Frank Bernhardt, Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kingston, delivered COVID-19 response equipment and supplies, valued at J$43,800,000 to the Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health and Wellness.
The MOHW received almost half a million non-sterile surgical masks for health care workers island wide. Medical equipment included: 300 long-range vaccine carriers, 2 ultra-low temperature vaccine freezers and 2 vital signs monitors to establish observation areas at vaccination sites. Other items included laptops, printers and promotional materials to support the COVID-19 communications and vaccination efforts.
In his address at the handover ceremony, Mr. Stein, highlighted the importance of national and international collaboration to support the COVID-19 response and save the lives of Jamaicans. He said, “since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, PAHO’s technical cooperation in Jamaica has been informed by the WHO COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan and the Health Emergency and Disaster Management Framework. We are therefore pleased to continue partnering with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to support the Ministry of Health and Wellness in the development of national health sector responses to this pandemic.”
He continued, “As we work towards containment of the fourth wave of the pandemic through bolstering support to countries, territories and areas in the Region of the Americas, PAHO remains an international partner that prioritizes current health challenges and those that are projected to result from the individual, community and national realities.”
In his remarks, the Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, highlighted the longstanding relationship between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Jamaican Government. He asserted “as we enter the 60th year of diplomatic relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Government of Jamaica, we are pleased to join the Jamaican Government in combatting and containing the spread of COVID-19. Today’s equipment and supplies handover represents the culmination of efforts by our recently departed ambassador, His Excellency Dr Stefan Keil and PAHO”.
The Federal Republic of Germany previously donated 108,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Jamaica under the COVAX facility.
While accepting the donation on behalf of the Government of Jamaica, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health and Wellness said, “today’s handing over shows the success that can be had when Governments partner together. This time that we face in the world, shows that we cannot stand on our own. International support will help nations get through this global health crisis. We thank People and Government of Germany for its generous donation, [and] we look forward to our continued mutually beneficial working relationship.”