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On April 25, 2020 after being rejected by three hospitals and hours of labour, Jodian Fearon was pronounced dead at the University Hospital of the West Indies from cardiac arrest. Jodian’s tragic death sparked outrage among Jamaicans in the diaspora and locally. Displeased with the conduct of the health officials involved many Jamaicans appealed to the government for reformations within the healthcare sector. Following the public uproar Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that the government of Jamaica would lend its support to the family and that an inquisition was launched into Jodian’s death. The probe would subsequently reveal a very defective healthcare system. A recent Gleaner exposé titled, “HOSPITALS IN BREACH – Embattled Andrews Among Private Facilities Operating Without Gov’t Certification,” disclosed that only four privately owned healthcare facilities were observed as certified private hospitals. This scandalous revelation has left many Jamaicans bewildered as to how these healthcare facilities were able to operate for so long without being properly registered and not adhering to the government’s regulations. Correspondingly, Jodian’s passing has uncovered the fear and stigma surrounding Covid-19. And it has unmasked the unpreparedness of the hospitals to properly manage victims of the virus. Also, it begs the question of whether or not Jodian would have been better assisted if she came from a higher socioeconomic background.
In light of that question Prime Minister Holness has announced the need for Jamaicans to be prepared to live a new norm, one in which Jamaicans coexist with the Coronavirus until there is proper vaccination. This notion of the “new norm” is a sentiment that has been echoed by leaders around the world. Significantly, this new normal tends to focus on the country’s economic position and not on the security and health of the Jamaican citizens. The government has also come under criticism for refusing to halt the operation of the country’s Buisness Process Outsourcing groups (B.P.O.). The call for closing the B.P.Os come in wakes of a massive outbreak of the Coronavirus at Alorica, Portmore branch. Companies like Alorica have failed to follow the health guidelines issued by the government to protect their employees. Yet, they have not been reprimanded and continue to operate. Remarkedly, chairman and CEO of Itelbpo Smart Solutions, Yoni Epstein has pledged a weekly donation of 2 million dollars to help manage the health crisis created by the Coronavirus. Epstein’s donation is auspicious given the climate surrounding B.P.Os. This donation to the government may be a ploy to continue their operation. This sentiment reverts to Jodian’s case of whether or not certain socio-economic groups receive greater priviledge. This type of classism is not an admirable feature for the government. The proactive guise that was once displayed by the government during the initial outbreak is slowly lifting and what is being presented is a system that cares more about money, power and politics. Oftentimes it is individuals like Jodian who suffers at the hand of such a system.
This debacle of fractured healthcare sectors, capitalistic systems and classism extends beyond the hills of Jamaica to the Plateaus Geneva, Switzerland where the World Health Organization (W.H.O) is located. The W.H.O. offers a conglomerate of resources including global health care, countering infectious diseases and investigating elements that influences health. The current director-general of W.H.O. is microbiologist Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Dr. Tedros has long been a controversial man and the Coronavirus pandemic has proven to be his greatest trial. He has been accused of being China’s puppet by the United States of America’s President, Donald Trump. Currently, there is almost a universal recognition that China covered up the outbreak. It has been documented that on December 31, 2019 the Taiwanese government tried to warn W.H.O. of a potential deadly virus stemming from China. All their attempts were ignored by W.H.O. officials. In accordance with China’s politics W.H.O denied Taiwan’s membership into its organization. Simultaneously, doctors within China were severely punished and blocked from disclosing the truth. Since then, W.H.O has praised China for their response to the outbreak, not taking into account because of their negligence and politics approximately 3.5 million people worldwide has been infected with the virus. Several countries have requested for China to be held accountable for their actions. One of the most outspoken advocates is President Trump who branded W.H.O. has being “China-centric.” President Trump has since suspended a $400 million funding to the W.H.O. This blatant display of murky politics is extremely alarming especially when billions of lives are at risk.
And when it seems like this could not get any worst there has been new reports emerging from hacked emails from W.H.O, the Gates foundation and others dumped online alledging that the Corona virus was spliced with HIV. If this explosive allegation is proven to be true it reiterates the notion held by many that the health of the common folk is not important. Also, one cannot ignore the vaccination campaign that software developer and philanthropist, Bill Gates is fore-running. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the biggest funder of vaccinations. On Gates’ blog he states that in order to have some normalcy people need to be vaccinated. But the proposal is not very comforting as throughout the years the Gates Foundation has been under much criticism. Some of the Foundation’s critics comes from India. In one instance the Gates Foundation had funded two entities that administered HPV vaccinations to a group of tribal children. As a result of the inhumane malpractice of the vaccinations there were several deaths. There is no solace knowing that a Foundation who has its hands in several deaths and malpractices throughout the years is to be trusted with aiding to find a cure for the virus. These leaders need to be held accountable for the lives that they are putting at risk. The sheer lack of empathy is disgraceful. Prime Minister Holness is evidently falling in line with this beast system. However, the common folks has the power to garner change and until they recognize that , their lives will forever be in the hands of reprobates.