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JIS News

Nurse Administrator at the Committee for the Upliftment of the Mentally Ill (CUMI) Rehabilitation Day Centre in St. James, Joy Crooks, says the organisation is committed to ensuring that its clients remain healthy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In an interview with JIS News, Nurse Crooks outlined several measures that the Committee has implemented to ensure that its clients enter and leave the Centre at Brandon Hill, Montego Bay, without getting the virus.

“We have marked out areas [in the building] to enforce social distancing. If a few of them want to watch the television in the sitting area, we can have to up three or four there. All the spaces are marked out where they can sit,” Nurse Crooks outlined.

She pointed out that during lunchtime, the meals are brought to the clients on the veranda and in the downstairs area of the building.

Nurse Crooks indicated that for those persons who visit CUMI, a hygiene routine has been established.

“We have given them a set of clothes that when they come in they go to the bathroom and they shower and put on the clothes that they are going to wear in the building. Then they wash and hang the clothes that they arrived in and by evening they wear those clothes to leave the premises. Sanitisation of hands and temperature checks upon entry of the building are also done,” she said.

She noted that the building and all its furniture, as well as other frequently touched areas, are cleaned and sanitised several times per day.

Nurse Crooks added that the measures in place seem to be working, so far, and as the number of clients increases, measures will be adjusted to accommodate them.

The administrator noted that since the beginning of the pandemic, several clients have not been taking their medication, nor have they been going to their clinic appointments.

“The main issue that we have had is to sort out the clients’ medication and clinic appointment. The Type Five Health Centre and the mental health officers [in the parish] have been very helpful to us, because they have taken the names of the persons and got their files up to date, and those whom we could get medication for, we have received them, but some of them we may have to buy because they are not available,” she said.

Nurse Crooks noted that CUMI maintains contact with clients who are staying with their families, “so if they have any problems, whether with clinic or with food, we would arrange for them to collect dry goods like rice, beans and any other dry products that we have”.

She told JIS News that those clients who are at home now have enough dry goods to last them until June 1.

Meanwhile, Nurse Crooks said that due to the pandemic, initiatives such as CUMI’s computer familiarisation and craft programmes have been placed on hold indefinitely as part of efforts to adhere to social distancing rules.

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