Diaspora organizations and individuals donated $300 million to Jamaica during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday the Diaspora Conference for Health and Wellness took place.

The Chief medical officer of Jamaica, Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, also took part in the Conference.

Members of the diaspora, including the CMO, Dr. Gary Rhule, the co-chair of Jamaica Diaspora North East, Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and Claudette Powell, the head of the Jamaica Diaspora Northeast USA Health Sector, were all there in person.

According to the CMO, Jamaican diaspora people are still helping to expand the island’s healthcare industry.

Please know that we appreciate your contributions from those who live beyond the country of origin. But now is the time to make the most of your involvement. So far, the diaspora has donated more than $300 million in equipment and supplies to COVID during the past two years. Doctor Bisasor-McKenzie said, “We know you are a tremendous force that we need to join and guarantee we are integrated in our approach.”

Minister Tufton noted that “around 6% of our budget has been contributions or gifts from the diaspora.”. He also mentioned that the government maintains an “assistance” unit for people living abroad.

Jamaica and its diaspora may work together on reactivating the island’s medical workforce through telemedicine and a database, according to the CMO.

According to Dr. Bisasor-McKenzie, a large number of medical professionals, particularly nurses, wish to return to serve in Jamaica.

Claudette Powell, a registered professional nurse, echoed the CMO’s words and pleaded with Jamaicans living abroad to lend a hand.

Given that we are recognized as stakeholders and allowed to share our experiences, we are ready to transform Jamaica’s health and wellness services,” the diaspora states. Powell pleaded with the world community to assist Jamaica.

The CMO said the government plans to overhaul the healthcare system in the next few years and will seek diaspora help, especially in the field of knowledge.

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