UWI partners with Barbados Government in fight against COVID-19

Clinical care specialists and medical researchers at The University of the West, Cave Hill Campus, are actively engaged in the fight to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Barbados and across the region.

Some have joined clinicians and other health care responders on the front line offering critical care to the stricken while others are providing analytical psychosocial and scientific research to aid policy development, some of which have informed the policy directives of authorities in Barbados and elsewhere.

For example, health leaders have been able to utilise the data from public health modeling to predict infection and mortality rates of the global virus.

With Cave Hill staff comprising around half of the medical personnel on island trained in the use of ventilators, which are used worldwide in the most acute medical conditions, the experts are also providing critical hands-on and bed-side assistance.

Among those giving support, five are from the George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre (GA-CDRC) and nine are from the Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS). They include Professor of Biostatistics Ian Hambleton; Senior Lecturer in Qualitative Research Methods, Dr. Madhuvanti Murphy; Senior Lecturer in Immunology, Dr, Kim Quimby; Lecturer in Data Science Dr. Christina Howitt; and Lecturer in Epidemiology Dr. Natasha Sobers, all of the GA-CDRC, as well as Lecturers in Public Health at the FMS, Dr. Heather Harewood and Dr. Natalie Greaves, have partnered on the public health modeling, surveillance, process planning and accompanying public health intervention recommendations. Drs. Mike Campbell and Maisha Emmanuel are assisting with survey research on behaviour of health care workers.

Lecturer in Family Medicine, Dr. Euclid Morris (FMS) is a member of the Ministry of Health and Wellness COVID-19 Health Advocate Team (CHAT) along with Drs. Natasha Sobers, Heather Harewood, Natalie Greaves and Madhuvanti Murphy.

On the front line as part of the Covid-19 Response Clinical Team are: Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology, Dr. Kenneth Connell, who is also part of the COVID-19 CHAT; Lecturer in Internal Medicine, Dr. Arianne Harvey; Lecturer in Internal Medicine, Dr. Colette George; and Lecturer in Anesthesiology, Dr. Keisha Thomas-Gibson.

Also providing front line assistance in the fight to save lives is a UWI military reservist, who was among those called out by authorities to undertake national duties.

The Cave Hill employee is in charge of the field medical facility that supports 95 percent of the swabs utilised for testing of COVID-19. The member has also been asked to assist with manning the old navy base at Harrison Point, which is being used as an isolation facility.

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