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Belize Emergency Response Team gets million-dollar donation from international partners

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Posted: Wednesday, December 16, 2020. 4:33 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT) received a freight container with a donation of much-needed medical supplies and equipment today from international partners, Project C.U.R.E and RRR Air Evac Emergency Response.

The donation was comprised of items such as wheelchairs, beds, consumables for pre-hospital and primary care, and other equipment such as oxygen concentrators which all totalled is valued at around US $1 million. The items will be distributed between the polyclinics in San Pedro, Caye Caulker, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, and BERT.

Robert Swanigan, of RRR Air Evac Emergency Response, explained that the donation is the culmination of two years of planning, groundwork, and collaboration between partners in Belize and the United States.

“The need really has increased for some of the most basic supplies, they don’t seem like a big deal until you need them. So as you move through a volume of patients, you need to constantly be able to restock the system, so whether it’s used today or four months from now, it’s imperative to have supplies,” Swanigan said.

Andre Carillo, Executive Director, noted that the Rotary Club of Belize played a major role in the donation and that BERT is a flagship organization of the Rotary Club.

“Rotarians have been in the fight to improve pre-hospital care and emergency response for more than 22 years, this is how long BERT has been in operation,” Carillo said.

He added that the equipment comes at a critical time in Belize as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused increased demand on the health system and as such increased the need for supplies and equipment. He noted that oxygen concentrators are just one example of that demand, as they help to increase a COVID-19 patient’s oxygen level to help them breathe as they battle the infection.

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