Health Corps Volunteer Project To Be Improved

Jamaica News: The Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) is to make improvements to its Health Corps Volunteer Project (HCVP).

The initiative, which started on April 6, is designed to support the COVID-19 response at the national level and future public health emergencies in four critical areas of operations managed by the MOHW Emergency Operation Centre (EOC).

These are Operations, Public Information and Education, Telecommunications and Administration and Finance.

Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Acting Director, Policy Analysis and Research at the Ministry and HCVP Project Manager, Rowena Palmer said based on the assessment of the first month, the project will be bolstered with some necessary improvements.

“We will be engaging volunteers for special facilities and the mental health hotline. We will also be completing a tele-health training package for call agents, and training of the call agents in relevant areas including gender-based violence,” she said.

Since the inception of the project, a Letter of Agreement has been signed with the University of the West Indies for the operation of a Call Centre to support the COVID-19 national response.

According to the Project Manager, over 100 medical students and volunteer clinicians have been trained virtually, in preparation for volunteer duties at the UWI Call Centre and the MOHW EOC.

“Training encompassed the use of the Quarantine App, as well as the EOC electronic ticketing system. Two on-site sessions were held at the UWI Call Centre to support virtual training in the use of the Quarantine App and the MOHW data collection form. These face-to-face sessions were critical for the smooth commencement of operations at the Call Centre,” Ms. Palmer explained.

She added that a volunteer handbook was developed by the Ministry, detailing the operating guidelines for the HCVP Project and e-copies distributed to volunteers.

Other achievements include updating the COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Booklet from 23 to 68 FAQ. It was updated to include questions and answers specific to Jamaica and will be updated routinely to reflect the changes in the response and the local situation.

The objective of the six-month initiative is to engage and retain a pool of non-technical and technical personnel to support the COVID-19 operations at the MOHW Emergency Operations Centre and other areas of the health sector.

Under the partnership, the Ministry has successfully engaged over 90 percent of the medical students who had applied to be volunteers.

The Faculty of Medical Sciences, has also been providing additional volunteers for the health sector, upon request.


Source: JIS News

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