Health and Wellness Ministry gets $1 million from CBA

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton (left), receives a symbolic cheque for $1 million from President of the Chinese Benevolent Association (CBA), Robert Hew (right) and Administration Manager, CBA, William Chong.

The Chinese Benevolent Association (CBA) has made a donation of $1 million to the Ministry of Health and Wellness towards the country’s efforts to fight COVID-19.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, received the donation on Tuesday, April 28, at the Ministry’s New Kingston headquarters.

He thanked the CBA and commended the Association for its goodwill, which would be used to provide nutritional support for those on the front line.

“The Ministry of Health & Wellness is grateful for the continued support and partnership with the Chinese Benevolent Association,” he said, while pointing out that COVID-19 is one of the greatest challenges that the world has faced in recent times.

“One of the key strategies to facing this challenge is through partnership. Partnership with various stakeholders, including CBA, will make a significant difference in achieving the best health outcome for the people of Jamaica. We thank the CBA for supporting the efforts as we continue our response to COVID-19,” he added.

For his part, Executive Director of the Ministry’s Health for Life and Wellness Foundation, Courtney Cephas, said the donation is timely, as it comes at a point when the Foundation is seeking to address the challenge of resource demands for the provision of meals and transportation for many of the 24/7 front-line health workers across the country who are the cornerstone in the COVID-19 fight.

He said that upon initial contact, the offer from the CBA was half the amount. However, after a discussion on how integral the funds would be in supporting the needs of critical front-line health workers who are most at risk in the fight against COVID-19, the offer was increased to $1 million.

The Executive Director said it strengthened his resolve that the country would be able to fight COVID-19 with the continued support of organisations such as the CBA.

“I had a deep feeling that an awakening is sweeping the country, and that holds the key not only to defeat the COVID-19 challenge upon us but to address many of our long-standing challenges,” he said.

He said that many private-sector entities have been “proactively and quietly giving a tremendous level of philanthropic support in various ways in a fight that they truly see as their own”.

“This support from the CBA is another remarkable testament of this in the absence of a vaccine or cure. The collective actions of every sector of society is the greatest chance for our nation’s success,” Cephas said.