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India approves US$1 million fund for Belize through multi-partner fund; 20 patient monitors handed over to MOHW

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Posted: Tuesday, November 2, 2021. 11:07 am CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) on Monday, November 1, 2021, received 20 patient monitors as the first set of equipment Belize procured through a US$1 million fund approved by the Government of India through a multi-partner fund.

PAHO Caribbean said the Government of India approved the US$1 million fund for Belize through the India-UN Development Partnership Fund, a partnership between Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health & Wellness, and the United Nations Office of South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).

“Once again, this affirms the great and solid relationship shared between India and Belize, and with that brotherhood spirit we are honored to be a part of this donation,” said Arun Hotchandani, Honorary Consul of India at the visibility event held to launch the multi-partner fund on Monday.

After the patient monitors, other equipments to be procured through the fund include incubators, patient and delivery beds, and an EKG machine.

“The fund specifically aims to strengthen clinical management of COVID-19 patients, and, most importantly, to fund actions that will reduce the risk of the transmission of COVID-19 among health workers in Belize,” said Dr. Noreen Jack, PAHO/WHO Representative in Belize, who explained that the PAHO/WHO is the implementing agency for the India-UN Development Partnership Fund.

The India-UN Fund is a dedicated facility within the United Nations Fund for South-South Cooperation established in 2017 said PAHO in a press release.

The multi-partner fund centers on ‘Strengthening Clinical Management of COVID-19 Patients and Reducing of Risk of COVID19 Transmission among Health Workers in Belize’.

The objective of the project is three-fold. It seeks to improve the COVID-19 response capacity of Belize’s health system through key medical equipment. The second aim is to improve the procurement of protective and medical equipment including a medical waste incinerator for the new Caye Caulker Health Center which is under construction. Thirdly, the fund looks to increase awareness on the prevention, response, and recovery from COVID-19 among the vulnerable urban and rural population in Belize.

“We in the United Nations stand in solidarity and remain committed to supporting the people and Government of Belize to address the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said UN Resident Coordinator to Belize, Birgit Gerstenberg. “We reaffirm our pledge to continue accompanying all necessary actions to reduce the health and socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to allow for Belize’s recovery that is inclusive, equitable, green, and digital for all.”

MOHW Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Deysi Mendez received the equipment on behalf of the MOHW.

“While health systems all over the world are overwhelmed and struggling, Belize is no different as we are faced with another wave which may seem to have no end in sight,” Dr Mendez said. “The challenges range from having adequate human resources, to having the right medical and equipment and supplies to assist us to with proper diagnosis, management, and treatment of COVID-19 patients. Today, we thank, the Government of the Republic of India, PAHO/WHO, and the UNOSSC for this grant and donation of medical equipment.”

In its risk communication and community engagements efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, Belize has implemented a series of public service announcements in English, Spanish, Garifuna, and Mopan Maya.

“The Risk Communication meets the unprecedented need to increase community engagement to not only stop the spread of the virus, but also to build lasting trust and social cohesion in the country,” noted Amalia Mai, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration.

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