Petrojam’s appeal for UHWI burn care facility raises over $15 million so far

THE effort to establish a well-equipped burn care facility at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), launched collaboratively by Petrojam Limited and UHWI, is rapidly gathering significant traction, the company has said.

This progress is being fuelled by the remarkable generosity demonstrated by various stakeholders which, to date, have donated over $15 million.

Generous contributions have so far been received from West Indies Petroleum (WIP); two private donors, including Camelia Carter who donated $500,000; and newly established Petroleum marketing company, Regency Petroleum Limited (RPL) which contributed $300,000.

The benevolence of the first four donors was recently recognised at a presentation held at Petrojam’s Marcus Garvey Drive offices. Petrojam also officially announced its contribution of $10 million towards the initiative, to be used as seed funding.

West Indies Petroleum is the largest contributor to date, donating a total of $5 million. WIP has also committed to donating a sum equivalent to 50 per cent of Petrojam’s yearly commitment, throughout the duration of Petrojam’s involvement with the project. Beyond its initial contribution of $10 million, Petrojam has committed an annual donation of $10 million for ongoing support towards the facility’s continued operation and maintenance; a signal of the organisation’s commitment to the project’s success.

Senior vice-president of WIP, Danville Walker noted, “This is a cause that will serve all of Jamaica. So many times we open the newspapers and read about fire damage or someone getting a chemical burn. It was an easy decision for us to make, and I hope that more donors will come on board.”

Leteshia Porter, Regency Petroleum Limited’s (RPL’s) operations manager, said her company is also pleased to be affiliated with the cause. “We have been following the efforts in relation to the development of the burn care unit for some time now. It’s a pleasure to know that Regency, a young company, can contribute, and I hope that in the future we’ll be able to do more,” she said.

Camila Carter is one of two individual donors who have so far pledged support. “When I heard the testimony of a burn victim at the launch event, and the high cost of her medical care and recovery, I was moved to donate to this extraordinary project so that we don’t have to keep flying people out. We already have the qualified personnel; we just need the facilities,” Carter stated.

The other individual donor, who requested anonymity, was not available for the presentation.

General manager of Petrojam, Telroy Morgan said he is encouraged by the responses to date and has appealed to more companies, and Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora, to support the initiative.

“These transformative donations underscore the critical importance of the UHWI burn care facility and highlight the power of the collaborative spirit of corporate entities and individuals in fostering positive change within Jamaica,” he said.

“It will cost approximately 260 million dollars to construct the facility and so we are accepting whatever amounts you have to give towards this very worthy cause,” he added.

The UHWI burn care facility, Morgan noted, represents a significant step towards comprehensive burn care within Jamaica, effectively minimising the necessity for costly overseas treatments for severe burns.

Regarding the handling of all donations received, Morgan said UHWI, through its finance department, will be responsible for management of the funds, and a project steering committee comprising both Petrojam and UHWI personnel will provide overall supervision. “We already have a Jamaican currency account, and the US account is being established,” he said.

Companies and individuals can support Petrojam’s fund-raising efforts for the UHWI burn care facility by making donations to:

Account number: 990870001135

Type: Current Account

Branch: First Global Bank, St Lucia Avenue.