Bio­prist do­nates $1m to St James COVID-19 relief

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Ash­ley An­guin/Gleaner Writer

WWESTERN BUREAU:

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.

MUCH GRAT­I­TUDE

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.

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