The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has donated a quantity of supplies to the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment in support of the fight against COVID-19 and Dengue here. The handing over ceremony was held at the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment Conference room on Wednesday 9th December, 2020.
The equipment and supplies are valued at $US 264,472.63 and include: twenty-three air conditioning units, PCR kits, vector supplies, a laptop and six tablets, thermometers, I.T. equipment, oxygen concentrators and developmental toys for children with special needs among other items.
Praising PAHO for the assistance provided, Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment, Hon. St. Clair Prince indicated that the tremendous support given by the organization has aided the government’s efforts in dealing with COVID-19 and Dengue. The Minister disclosed that the government has been seeking to hasten the response by “looking into setting up labs and land offices for personnel” locally,“to ensure that the response is comprehensive”. Minister Prince emphasized that “the Ministry of Health will continue to aggressively deal with these twin scourges.”
PAHO’s Country Programme Specialist, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines Nicole Slack Liburd, said, “PAHO’s support is reflective of its mandate to provide assistance to member countries including St. Vincent and the Grenadines.” Liburd added that the efforts are geared at strengthening health systems and response to emergencies and disasters. The PAHO Country Representative revealed that through consultations over several months they have provided technical, training and financial support.
According to Advisor, Health Systems and Services, PAHO ECC Office, Dr. Rufus Ewing – who joined the ceremony virtually, “PAHO remains steadfast in its commitment to provide technical cooperation support to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, to strengthen its health system, to ensure that the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines have access to quality health care as a right and enjoy a good quality of life.” The PAHO advisor stressed that PAHO’s goal is “to slow the spread of COVID-19, save lives and protect health care workers.” PAHO he said has committed funding of $US 489,886 to the cause and procured the items over the past six months.