Yesterday (Sunday, April 19, 2020) the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI Mona) held a very timely and informative teleconference on Covid-19. This teleconference was held in collaboration with the Mona Information Technology Services and was live streamed and the recording of the teleconference is now available online.
Dr Tomlin Paul, Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, was the moderator for the teleconference and he referred in his opening remarks to the previous conference the Faculty had hosted on March 5, 2020 – Covid-19 Pandemic Preparedness Conference. At that time Jamaica had not yet had a confirmed case of Covid-19, but shortly afterwards the pandemic emerged in the region. As Dr Paul said, the context for yesterday’s teleconference was one in which there were now cases throughout the region and the focus was on where things currently stood – nationally, regionally and globally – and relevant actions to be taken.
The first presenter was Dr Karen Webster-Kerr, National Epidemiologist for Jamaica and she spoke about monitoring and assessment of Covid-19 in Jamaica and the current status of the epidemic the country.
Next was Professor Celia Christie, Professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Diseases, Epidemiology and Public Health), whose presentation was titled “Unraveling the Natural History of Covid-19”.
The third speaker was Dr Kelvin Ehikhmetalor, a lecturer in the Dept of Surgery, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, who is the Director of the Intensive Care Unit of the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI). He spoke on Therapeutics and Pharmacological Treatment of Covid-19.
Then Dr Josh Anzinger of the Department of Microbiology (Virology) gave his presentation: Who to Test, What Lab Test & When?
The fifth presenter was Professor Peter Figueroa, who is Professor of Public Health, Epidemiology and HIV; he spoke on Success Stories in the Containment and Control of Covid-19.
Professor Figueroa was followed by Dr Sandra Jackson, a lecturer in the Department of Microbiology. Her presentation was on the Behaviour of Sars-Cov-2 from Wuhan to Jamaica.
The seventh presenter at the teleconference was Professor Denise Eldemire-Shearer, Professor of Aging and Public Health. Her presentation was titled: Protecting the Vulnerable – Seniors and Pre-existing Conditions.
The next presentation was given by Pro-Vice Chancellor Ambassador Richard Bernal and he spoke on the Post Covid-19 Pandemic Economic Outlook.
Professor Wendel Abel, Professor of Mental Health and Head of the Department of Community Health & Psychiatry, was the final speaker at the teleconference. He spoke on Hope in Uncertain Times.
It was a good conference, covering a wide range of topics, providing a lot of information, some of which was fairly technical, but a lot of which was accessible to the layman and general public. Congratulations to the Faculty of Medical Sciences for the second of their Covid-19 conferences!
Context for the Conference
April 18, 2020 – Ministry of Health & Wellness press release
April 19, 2020 – Ministry of Health & Wellness press release
My blog post on March 11, 2020 focused on information available at the time, including the first Faculty of Medicine Covid-19 conference.