The UWI, Mona Campus_Annual Report 2021-2022

4.5 OUTREACH The Faculty of Engineering – Rehabilitation Outreach Initiative (ROI) The Faculty of Engineering established a Rehabilitation Outreach Initiative to assist with the repair of biomedical engineering equipment. This initiative is being done as a part of a Biomedical

inform strategies and recommendations around the provision of health care and social support services to older adults in Jamaica during the pandemic. Research Partnerships In March 2022, The University of the West Indies and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) entered into a Technical Cooperation Agreement whereby IDB (through IDB Lab) will make funds available to finance a portion of a project dubbed “Innovative community-based caregiving for older adults in Jamaica”. The project is one of nine successful applications for IDB Lab financing in The Silver Economy Innovation for Inclusion Challenge, which invited proposals for “innovative solutions that empower the rapidly growing aging population to become an engine for social inclusion and economic recovery in the Latin American and the Caribbean region”. The main objective of the project is to create a community-based long-term care services model for older adults in Jamaica. The non-reimbursable contribution from IDB is approximately US$300,000 and represents 50% of the total project cost. The project is being executed by MAWC and is to last 36 months. • Public to disseminate information on general ageing issues and ageing issues in light of the COVID-19 pandemic speaking engagements Older adults were identified as a vulnerable group for which various public health response actions were prioritised. Since the pandemic, the Mona Ageing and Wellness Centre has had increased opportunities for public speaking engagements. Team members were frequently engaged to provide technical guidance regarding the development and implementation of response strategies and to disseminate accurate health information to the public. The Centre’s Executive Director serves as a member of the Vaccine Committee of the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW), and during the period under review participated in several MOHW-organized Town Hall meetings and information sessions hosted by different professional groups and institutions. Other team members also gave radio and television interviews and participated in webinars.

sequencer from Jamaica’s Ministry of Health & Wellness, and funded by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund as part of the country’s national response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Next generation sequencing is essential to the national COVID-19 response, helping to identify circulating variants, as well as new variants that arise amid low vaccination rates. NGS also has wide applicability in biology and overall health, including answering fundamental questions on HIV/ AIDS, biodiversity, natural product research, vector management, pathogen surveillance, antibiotic resistance, and healthcare-associated infections. As a priority, the service is focused on determining circulating variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus which cause COVID-19. In its first run, appropriate samples were selected from the National Public Health Laboratory under the guidance of the National Surveillance Unit of the Ministry of Health & Wellness, and the first results revealed a preponderance of the Omicron variant in Jamaica. Sterile laboratory for Pharm D The CHASE Fund also made another donation to the Faculty of Medical Sciences in the form of a Sterile Laboratory. This facility is in the final stages of being installed. 4.4 THE SILVER ECONOMY Efforts of the Mona Ageing and The Mona Ageing and Wellness Centre welcomed its first cohort of the Post-Graduate Diploma in Geriatric in January 2021. Four of the seven students successfully completed final examinations, with three obtaining distinctions. Written and clinical examinations were facilitated in two sittings (November 2021 and April 2022). Wellness Centre (MAWC) • New Academic Programmes

Engineering Society outreach programme. The ROI carried out two projects in the 2021-2022 academic year – the repair of an electric scooter for the Office of Special Student Services, and the repair of a wheelchair for a patient in the Liguanea area who was born with physical disabilities. The ROI also procured a wheelchair which will be donated to the Faculty for use in laboratory activities of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Design (BMNG 3240) course.

Dr. Da-Vaugh Sanderson and the team of Biomedical Engineering students presenting the repaired electric scooter to the Office of Special Student Services (OSSS).

• Research

Rapid Surveys In the first year of the pandemic, the Mona Ageing and Wellness Centre (MAWC) was able to perform two rapid surveys which helped to



UWI Mona Annual Report 2021 - 2022

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