The UWI fights COVID-19

More than ever before, we are called to rally around each other. As an activist University, we at The UWI continue to engage in the search for sustainable solutions for the Caribbean to confront the COVID-19 challenge. Universities are built and resourced to serve their communities and nations, so times like these draw precisely on our academy's purpose. Through science, medicine, engineering and volunteerism, our staff and students are contributing their resources and expertise towards the fight, demonstrating that UWI cares.

As we continue to do our part, we are energised by the solidarity of regional unity because it is only together we will get through this.

Daily surveillance and monitoring

By The George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre at The UWI Cave Hill are facilitating evidence- based decision-making in the Caribbean via www. uwi.edu/covid19/surveillance.

The website functions as an 'observatory' for confirmed COVID-19 cases, deaths and outbreak growth rates for 14 CARICOM countries and 6 UK Overseas Territories, as well as regional heat map models.

Frontline medical care

Members of our Faculties of Medical Sciences across the region are providing critical care for COVID-19 patients at hospitals and primary care settings and centres.

Medical students volunteer

Hundreds of medical students from across all our campuses are volunteering to provide supplementary support to doctors and nurses. UWI Mona students are supporting communication activities for the Ministry of Health and Wellness through the Campus Call Centre and the National Emergency Operations Centre.

100+ students in the District Health Visiting programme at UWI St Augustine are doing contact tracing for the Ministry of Health, Trinidad and Tobago. Nursing Programme staff are working the COVID Hotlines, and overseeing operations of Field Hospitals.

Cave Hill's Department of Social Work staff are lending social care assistance to the elderly, along with UWI Five Islands providing COVID-19 relief to single mothers and the elderly.

Testing

The National Influenza Centre at The UWI Mona's Department of Microbiology is testing for COVID-19.

Similarly, to help increase testing capacity in Trinidad and Tobago, The UWI St Augustine has handed over its the School of Veterinary Medicine's Molecular Biology Laboratory along with additional PCR machines from its Faculty of Science and Technology's Department

of Life Sciences to the Ministry of Health for real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for COVID-19.

Field hospitals

The UWI Cave Hill, in partnership with the Barbados Defence Force and Ministry of Health and Wellness, is hosting a Respiratory Short Stay Unit, a field hospital on the premises of its E.R. Waldrond Clinical Skills building at Jemmots Lane. In Trinidad and Tobago, The UWI St. Augustine's Couva and Debe facilities are both in use for COVID-19 patients and quarantined returning nationals.

Drug treatment

The Faculty of Medical Sciences at the St Augustine Campus has reviewed the use of drugs for the management of COVID-19 to guide Trinidad and Tobago's Ministry of Health.

Global solidarity clinical trial

The UWI is part of the World Health Organisation's 'Solidarity Trial' to investigate the efficacy of potential treatment drugs.


Engineering solutions

The Faculties of Engineering at UWI St. Augustine and Mona in collaboration with students, alumni and industry partners are driving national efforts to manufacture ventilators, face shields and other medical equipment for COVID-19 response.

Science for policy decisions

Researchers and experts from our specialised units and centres are producing models and policy briefs to inform national and regional governments and decision makers.

Studies

  • COVID's psychological impact on workers
  • Intervention strategies to curb spread
  • Public health modelling to predict infection and mortality rates of the virus
  • Behavioural change needed to halt the spread of viral illness

Hand sanitiser

Thousands of litres of hand sanitizer is produced daily by The UWI Mona Campus' Doctor of Pharmacy programme in collaboration with National Health Fund and its partners - J. Wray and Nephew Ltd., Organic Growth Holdings and Carimed Ltd. The UWI Cave Hill Campus is also producing hand sanitizer for essential workers.

Equipping regional educators to teach online

The UWI Open Campus has trained more than 2000 teachers/ educators across the region in the use of educational technology for the rapid response delivery of online education.

  • close to 600 teachers, community college lecturers and curriculum officers from ministries of education in Barbados and OECS, in association with the Eastern Caribbean Joint Board of Teacher Education.
  • over 1000 personnel from sister campuses and 752 tutors from Open

Post COVID-19 recovery

Post COVID-19 Road Map to Recovery team comprises UWI Chancellor and other UWI experts and alumni for Trinidad and Tobago. Similarly, in Barbados, Cave Hill staff are serving on a Jobs and Investment Council to help the government mobilise and catalyse opportunities during and post the COVID-19 pandemic. Pro Vice- Chancellor and Campus Principal, Prof. The Most Hon. Eudine Barriteau chairs the Services and the Creative Economy Committee.

The UWI Global Tourism Resilience Centre in Jamaica is leading the recovery of the region's tourism industry beginning with simulations to understand the economic and social impact.From psycho-social and clinical experts to economists and more, a wide range of disciplines and specialists are focused on the Caribbean's rebound from the impact of COVID-19.