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March 12, 2019

Medical facilities countrywide to receive climate readiness upgrades

Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2019. 9:00 am CST.

BBN Staff: The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is spearheading a project in Belize to upgrade 11 health facilities across the country and make them ready to operate in the face of a natural disaster.

The project, which is funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (UKaid) and the European Union (EU), is valued at over $15.8 million (€7 million).

The project will bring upgrades to the he Western Regional Hospital, the Northern Regional Hospital and the Southern Regional Hospital, as well as the Punta Gorda, San Ignacio and Corozal Community hospitals, along with the Matron Roberts, Cleopatra White, Isabel Palma I
Polyclinic, Independence II polyclinic,  Palm Center  and the Central Medical Laboratory.

The upgrades form a part of a UK initiative called the Smart Health Facilities Initiative, a project valued at  £39 million pounds-sterling, being carried out in Dominica, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The announcement of the upgrades follows the official visit of PAHO Director, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne earlier this month. PAHO noted that in Latin America and the Caribbean, seven out of ten hospitals are located in areas at high risk of disasters, which can leave them out
of service in the event of a hurricane, earthquake or flood.

“It is imperative that we prepare ourselves to become more resilient,” said Ángel Campos, minister of state in the Ministry of health. “Valuable contributions from international partners and local work will enable us to be better prepared to face natural disasters in the future.”

The first works are expected to begin within the next three months in the San Ignacio Community Hospital.


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