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Audrey Hinchcliffe | Holistic recovery from COVID-19

Audrey Hinchcliffe | Holistic recovery from COVID-19

Contributed Photo

Published: Tuesday | May 12, 2020 | 12:11 AMAudrey Hinchcliffe/Guest Columnist

THE TAGLINE ‘We are in this together’ aptly portrays economic recovery in the presence of the coronavirus. The challenge for the Economic Recovery Task Force will be finding the balance, as the economy and the virus will have to learn to coexist, at least for a while. There will need to be reliance on science to inform healthcare which will, in turn, inform the economy. This three-legged stool will serve to inform the work of the task force and its subcommittees.

I was tempted to create a four-legged stool by adding politics as the other leg, but with an ounce of caution, I veered away from this as it dawned on me that this is no time to include anything decisive, as focus is needed on the subtopic – finding the balance. We are aware that scientists are still grappling with the behaviour of the virus, its origin, how it is spread, how to control and, eventually, eradicate it. The scramble is on to find a cure, with reports of potions, pills and vaccines being explored. Mythic cures abound while the spread of the disease – COVID-19 – and rising death toll continue to emerge. This is the background against which economic recovery is being pursued.

My unsolicited position is that any talk of economic recovery has to be pegged to human resource; recalling that businesses have said in the past, and it still holds true, that human resource is their greatest asset. This asset goes out the door at the end of each shift, with no guarantee of its return the next day. COVID-19 is now dictating that this asset must be protected if businesses want to reopen, grow and thrive. I am now being bold to state that the business of health is through human resource, which is grounded in occupational health and safety, while health, as a business, is grounded in the economy in the form of products, goods and services.


The talk of business recovery is taking place in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The policies on mitigation and control may be seeing some results, but uncertainty looms as preparation is being pursued for business recovery. In this scenario, I direct attention to the business of health (and wellness), which is the production of healthcare and the determinants of what will work. Here I am limiting my views to dealing with COVID-19. Realising that we have to find a balance between operating business and living with the virus – I now submit that the balance at the workplace has to be supported by a strong occupational health programme guided by enforceable policy initiatives for the following:

• Social distance/Physical distance;

• Compulsory testing with quick results;

• Contact tracing;

• Isolation and quarantine;

• Treatment – symptoms;

• Mental and spiritual support,

Against this background, occupational health services, where it now exists, must be shored up for this responsibility under the direction and collaboration with the public health system. Where there is no programme, companies must move expeditiously to put one in place. This must be backed up by staffing and training. Monitoring the workplace for compliance with COVID-19 prevention measures will come from both external and internal processes.

New staff positions may emerge, hence positively enhancing job creation. Immediately, I foresee a health monitoring aide with duties that include taking temperature; enforcing the wearing of PPEs; social and physical distancing; cleaning and sanitising; assisting with employee assistance, among other activities, for infection control, such as hand hygiene and mask discipline.

There should be internal policy and procedure for if and when a worker gets sick, and the external linkage for care. An occupational health programme will throw up questions, such as the role of health insurance, and medical care. These questions should go into the mix of issues for discussion by the business recovery task force, as these cut across all business sectors.

In this regard, consultations on human resource, health and safety need to be the subject of a task force subcommittee. I can just hear the outcry about the cost and available resources, but we can’t have it any other way – if the human resource is the greatest asset, healthcare is the companion asset. There is no choice in the quest for business recovery. Business must open safely; on the other hand, health as a business will be in demand, ranging from medical care, pharmaceutical (licit and illicit substances), testing devices (kits), medical devices, PPEs, transportation, accommodation, nutrition, counselling, training, technology, and many other items for care, cure and comfort during illness. COVID-19 has dictated its own products and services.

So, as part of business-recovery initiatives, health as a business has a place in the deliberations, as existing businesses will attract support for reopening, whether for organisational restructuring, rightsizing, and new goods and services.

During business recovery, the virus will remain as infectious and deadly as it is now. If control measures are not monitored, and policy changes not made, it will be easy to have to return to lockdowns and curfews. The interest of economic recovery will drive the behaviour of business, regardless of sector; hence, finding the balance is an imperative for the business recovery task force.

Audrey Hinchcliffe is the CEO and founder of Manpower and Maintenance Services Ltd Group. Send feedback to ceo@manpowerja.com or columns@gleanerjm.com.

Source: The Gleaner Company Media Limited

Manpower & Maintenance Services (MMS) Limited Group Helps Fight COVID -19

May 5, 2020                                                                                             For Immediate Release

Manpower & Maintenance Services (MMS) Limited Group Helps Fight COVID -19

Manpower and Maintenance Services (MMS) Limited Foundation has joined the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) by donating JMD$ 250,000.00 to the Jamaica “Together We Stand Telethon” to aid in the fight against the pandemic. The donation was made to help with the purchasing of personal protective equipment and supplies for the protection of those working on the frontline against COVID-19 and the strengthening of health systems.

each have an essential role to play during this COVID-19 crisis”, said Mrs. Audrey Hinchcliffe, Chief Executive Officer of MMS. “On April 12, the MMS Limited Foundation pledged JMD $250,000 to help in the purchasing of health supplies for our health care professionals, and today the MMS Limited Group handed over, 2000 N95 masks to the National Health Fund so that they can distribute them, as they deem appropriate, to reach those that need it the most, our nurses and doctors who are working tirelessly on the frontline against this pandemic”.

MMS has always taken a proactive approach when there is a threat to the country’s healthcare system. And it is MMS involvement in the COVID -19 fight that prompts the contributions. Known for its underpinning in cleaning and sanitation, Mrs. Hinchcliffe also shared that the company’s cleaning and sanitation workers are also working on the frontline against COVID-19 and they too require personal protective equipment and supplies as well. In this regard, MMS has them trained and equipped as they work in our hospitals, Business Processing Outsourcing companies (BPO’s), shopping malls, points of entry, education and business entities among others.

MMS continues to be on the frontline, working assiduously to implement steps for the control and mitigation of diseases. In March of this year, the company hosted workshops and sensitization sessions on the coronavirus to educate on symptoms of the virus, transmission, prevention and treatment and minimizing risk at home and in the workplace. The company also donated 200 N95 masks to the Spanish Town Hospital.

Rudolph Brown/Photographer Dr. Christopher Tufton, (second left), minister of health looks at the In 2 Care mosquito-control system with (from left) Odean Bradshaw, marketing and business development manager of Hardware and Lumber Agro; Audrey Hinchcliffe, CEO and chairman, Manpower and Maintenance Services (MMS) Ltd and Caribbean Health Management Ltd; Raoul Persuad, account executive, Univar Environmental Sciences; and Olive Downer Walsh, deputy CEO of Hardware and Lumber Ltd. They were at a client seminar on mosquito-borne diseases hosted by MMS Ltd in collaboration with Caribbean Health Management Ltd and H&L Agro at Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston yesterday. The In 2 Care is a double killing agent (larvacide and fungicide) that attracts Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, contaminates and uses them to infect breeding sites so they can no longer transmit diseases.

Gov’t To Release Sterile Mosquitoes To Combat Dengue

Come March next year, the Government will begin releasing half a million sterile male mosquitoes into the environment per week to help slash the population of the female Aedes aegypti, which is responsible for spreading the deadly dengue virus.

“There are three ways to sterilise mosquitoes. You can sterilise them using a genetic method, using radiation, as well as a bacteria called Wolbachia,” Sherine Huntley Jones, head of the Vector Control Programme within the Ministry of Health, told TheGleaner yesterday.

“Jamaica is using the radiation methodology. At the National Public Health Laboratory in Kingston, we are into mass production of mosquitoes. We are now standardising our procedure for mass growing, with the intention of rearing enough males so we can sterilise and release them.”

Jones said that standardising factory procedures is the final stage before mass production of sterile male mosquitoes can take place.

She was speaking with The Gleaner at the Spanish Court Hotel, Valencia, during a seminar titled ‘Mosquito-Borne Diseases: Dengue Fever Impact on the Workforce and Communities’, which was the brainchild of the Manpower and Maintenance Services Limited and held in collaboration with the Caribbean Health Management Consultants Ltd and H&L Agro.

“Males do not transmit disease. Males do not bite. When you hear we are releasing mosquitoes, do not panic! The females are the ones that bite. They need the blood to develop eggs. So we will release the males with view of them mating with wild females to reduce the population,” Jones pointed out.

“We are projecting to start releasing by March 2020. We have about a million in the lab. If you go there now, you would witness the mosquitoes going through the processes. We keep them in cages and feed them on human blood from the Blood Bank and other blood as well.”

Guest speaker Dr Christopher Tufton, who is also the health minister, admitted that desired results in reducing the local female mosquito population were not being achieved through fogging because of developed resistance.

Said Tufton: “We cannot engage the same approach to tackling and controlling the mosquito population, like fogging and applying chemical to water. We visited Cayman and looked at their mosquito-control centre. They told us the mosquitoes used to literally bite cattle till death. Mosquitoes are not so much of a nuisance [there] anymore.

“So what we do is go out, collect samples, breed them, and dissect them. Through the unit, we have discovered that there is a new species of mosquito in Jamaica, which we never knew of before. So we have to apply different methods to control it,” Tufton pointed out.

As of February 8, there were 1,166 suspected, presumed or confirmed dengue cases since the start of the year. There were 1,023 such cases in 2018.

There have also been a number of suspected deaths from the illness.

Source: Gleaner

Manpower And Maintenance Services Limited To Host Seminar On Dengue Fever

To show its appreciation for the partnership forged with its clients, Manpower held its annual Client Seminar in February 2019. The theme of the event was “Mosquito Borne Diseases: Dengue Fever: Impact on the Workforce Productivity and Communities.

The Seminar which is also sponsored by and H&L Agro, will be opened by Minister of Health Dr. the Honourable Christopher Tufton and is accessible to both clients of the Company as well as members of the public. It will seek to heighten awareness about the diseases associated with the mosquito, with a focus on dengue fever.

According to Chairman and CEO of MMS, Audrey Hinchcliffe, “Given the nature of our business we see it as part of our responsibility to help to spread the word and change attitudes and behavior concerning these diseases which are directly related to how we dispose of waste and manage the environment in which we live.” Mrs. Hinchcliffe said, “Because we have become accustomed to having mosquitoes around, and despite our experience with Chik V and the Zika virus, many persons still do not understand that mosquitoes are deadly pests and that we can and should do much more to control their numbers in our homes and communities.” This is an effort, she added, “to provide vital information on the impact of these diseases on our workforce and by extension our communities and country and provide strategies for control.”

The Seminar will include presentations from several experts representing a wide cross section of areas on topics such as: The Epidemiology of Dengue Fever; Diagnosis and Treatment Protocols; Infection Control; Decreasing Exposure: Pest Management and Control; Impact on Worker and Community Productivity; Mitigation Strategies and Resource Requirements. A panel discussion will explore the impact on communities and sectors of the economy, including tourism.


Source: Gleaner