Digicel Foundation Donates J$8.5 Million to UHWI For Plasma-Apheresis Machine

The Digicel Foundation donated a plasma-apheresis machine to The University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), which doubles UHWI’s capacity to perform therapy on patients with COVID-19. After a J$8.5 million cheque was presented to the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the UHWI, the apheresis machine was purchased. As COVID-19 treatment evolves, plasma-apheresis has become a major aspect of COVID care.

Denis O’Brien spoke about his commitment to COVID response efforts in Jamaica: “Jamaica has proven that it is on the cutting edge when it comes to COVID-19 protocols, and as a part of Jamaica’s business community we feel that we have a duty to empower our doctors with cutting-edge technology so that they can continue to offer the best care possible… This kind of innovative therapy is where that starts.”

The plasma-apheresis machine uses the antibodies of a recovered COVID-19 patient to treat an actively infected patient. UHWI will utilise the machine for treating adults and children, as well as utilising it for therapies for other conditions.

Denis O'Brien at The University Hospital of the West Indies

This donation is the second from the Digicel Foundation since the pandemic reached Jamaica. In June 2020, Digicel Foundation donated J$1 million in personal protective equipment to the Kingston Public Hospital. The Foundation has also donated over J$100 million worth of data plans and tablets to promote social distancing and at-home learning.

Doctor Kelvin Metalor, Head of Department, ICU & Anaesthesia, at UHWI said, “Digicel touches every aspect of the Jamaican society, that’s why you are such a loved company. All departments at UHWI are profoundly grateful. The people of Jamaica and beyond will benefit from this.”

Read the full story at Digicel Foundation.