The Jamaica National Group has contributed some $1.5 million to the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ), to assist the country’s nurses in their fight against the spread of COVID-19.
The donation was made through the company’s recently announced Welfare Fund to support Jamaicans in their response to the effects of the disease.
Speaking on Thursday, May 7 during the JN Circle Catch Up virtual series broadcast via The Jamaica National Group’s Facebook page, president of the NAJ, Carmen Johnson noted that funds will be used to further protect nurses from exposure to the infectious disease.
“Our greatest concern is that we do not want our members to be overly exposed to COVID-19,” she pointed out. “Therefore, what we have agreed to do with that money is to source cloth masks for all our nurses; and we want to ensure that they have pockets so that they can change the filter,” she related, commending the JN Group for the contribution.
The NAJ president pointed out that discrimination from the public and within healthcare facilities continues to be a challenge for its members, although there has been some improvement in attitudes.
“The greatest challenge that we have presently is two-fold. One, is the fact that we still have some level of discrimination, both in and out of the care facilities and the reason we are getting is because of the fear factor. Persons fear catching COVID-19 and one of the things is that they see our nurses as the transmission mode of the disease,” she related.
She noted that the attitudes of taxi men towards nurses have improved and nurses are no longer being shunned by operators, but she said the curfew poses a challenge to those who need to access transportation, especially in rural areas.
Beyond those challenges, however, Mrs Johnson said members of the public need to play their part to keep the number of COVID-19 cases down. She pointed out that many persons seem not to be taking the pandemic seriously because of the low number of deaths.
“We can’t wait until our numbers start to surge and our deaths increase, as we see happening elsewhere on our television, or hear on our radios. Therefore, everyone needs to really start playing their part, practice proper hand washing hygiene; but most of all, stay home if you don’t have to come out,” she urged.
The ‘JN Circle Catch UP’, will continue to focus on coping during the pandemic, next week. The series is broadcasted weekly, via Facebook Live, on The Jamaica National Group’s Facebook page at 6:00 p.m.
Contact: Dionne Rose l JN Corporate Communications