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PAHO/WHO Belize donates emergency family kits to Belize Red Cross

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Posted: Wednesday, August 25, 2021. 11:27 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Belize office of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) donated 150 emergency family health kits today to the Belize Red Cross in support of its management of shelters in Belize in times of natural disasters.

The kits will be distributed to families at designated shelters during disasters such as hurricanes or floods to prevent and control infections, particularly and especially against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Each emergency health kit contains shampoos, soap detergent, bars of soap, bleach, rolls of toilet paper, sanitizing wipes, liquid hand soaps, dishwashing liquid, bottles of 70% alcohol, packs of sanitary pads, cleaning cloths, adult toothbrushes, children’s toothbrushes, tubes of toothpaste, and combs.

“Sanitation and hygiene become especially important during an emergency and more so during the COVID-19 pandemic,” commented PAHO/WHO Representative in Belize, Dr. Noreen Jack. “During unplanned events, such as hurricanes, shelters protect against loss of life; however, ensuring the safety of persons in these shelters can be accomplished through basic hygiene practices. The emergency health kits not only protect families from getting sick, but also protect the health care system from being overwhelmed during an emergency.”

Director-General of the Belize Red Cross Lily Bowman explained: “The Belize Red Cross collaborates closely with the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO). We are in the hurricane season, and we need to be prepared. There are many vulnerable populations in Belize associated with low-lying areas that are prone to flooding, or to hurricane threats. We ensure safe management and safe stay for persons while in shelters. These kits will directly contribute to the area of health and hygiene which is crucial, especially now with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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