Bioprist donates $1m to St James COVID-19 relief
HILE MANY businesses are now counting their losses as a result of the debilitating impact of COVID-19, the Montego Bay-based Bioprist Group is busily extending a hand of kindness in helping to cushion the impact on the most vulnerable in St James through a $1-million donation.
In explaining the motivation behind the donation, which was made to St James’ custos, Bishop Conrad Pitkin, at his office at the Faith Temple Assembly of God in Montego Bay, president and CEO of the Bioprist Group, Dr Guna Muppuri, said as a Montego Baybased entity, he felt it was the right thing to do in stepping up to help the most vulnerable.
“We are a Montego Bay-based home-grown business. We started here and we have grown over the years, so it is our responsibility, our corporate duty to make sure that we take care of the home first before we spread out to other areas,” said Muppuri, who is also a medical doctor.
“Montego Bay has suffered a lot, many jobs have been lost. When we look at the number of families that are struggling, we felt it was our duty to do something,” added Muppuri, who made it clear that the group plans to continue to help in whatever way possible.
Muppuri said he is hoping that by stepping out and taking the lead, other entities in the parish with the capacity to help will follow the Bioprist Group example.
“My hope is that this will motivate those persons who can help, but have not participated yet, to do so,” said Muppuri, who noted that the decision to have St James’ Custos Pitkin and Montego Bay’s Mayor Homer Davis integrally involved was done specifically to ensure total integrity.
The mayor expressed much gratitude to the Bioprist Group, saying they had stepped forward in a time of great need, showing that there are still persons who are willing to help the needy.
“It is a great day for St James. What this does is to tell us that there are persons among us who are willing to reach out to the less fortunate, especially at a time when we are going through a pandemic … a pandemic which we don’t know when it will subside,” said Davis.
“We are certain that under the leadership of the custos, this money will be spent well and will reach the needy, not the greedy,” added Davis.
As to how the money will be dispersed, Pitkin said representatives of the churches and justices of the peace will be asked to recommend needy persons in their respective communities.
“Each care package will consist of foodstuff, hand sanitisers, masks, and other day-to-day items. Each package will value in the region of $18,000 to $20,000,” said Pitkin.
From left: Dr Guna Muppuri, founder of Bioprist and Indies Pharmaceuticals; Mayor Homer Davis; Ebany Montique-Gayle, chief pharmacist; Bishop Conrad Pitkin, custos of St James, and Thelma Harwood.