The local arm of the International Agency for sustainable prison healthcare in developing countries, Health Through Walls (HtW) and local NGO, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF Jamaica) on October 26, 2020 made a generous donation of supplies to the Department of Correctional Services (DCS). The donation, an almost nine-hundred thousand (JMD$898,746.25) Jamaican Dollar value gesture consisted of essential sanitization equipment, PPE and chemicals used in the Department’s day-to-day infection prevention and control activities.
Jamaica Programme Manager – Health Through Walls, Mr. Arnold Campbell made the donation on behalf of HtW and AHF to the DCS Medical Unit and Commissioner saying that “This will not be the last of HtW and AHF’s contributions to the Department’s COVID-19 fight as we know these items deplete quickly when you are adhering to protocol. We will continue to liaise with DCS regularly to stay a lead of the challenges and opportunities to know how we can continue to be of value.”
Director, Medical Services in the DCS, Dr. Donna-Michelle Royer-Powe expressed that, “This donation is the second such made by the two organizations to the Department in this financial year. In May, they donated sanitation gear and personal protective equipment valued at over 1 Million Dollars that were critical to the effective prevention and control programme in the correctional centres. Items donated included 4 large step-on bins to securely dispose of medical waste, knapsack sprayers, industrial cleaning equipment and an assortment of PPE items.
HtW has been partners with the DCS for over 15 years helping to improve its capacity to provide prisoners with meaningful healthcare services such as medical screening and treatment as well as staging an annual Health fair along with partners and providing staff to do HIV testing for new inmates. The agency has a particular focus on prevention, identification and treatment of infectious and contagious diseases — particularly HIV, AIDS, and tuberculosis, and now COVID -19 with its entry into the island’s correctional centres. The last 4 years of this partnership has seen collaboration with Dr. Kevin Harvey and his team from AHF to increase the impact of the programme to the individuals and institutions that need it most.