Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2022. 7:52 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Clearly not one to hold a grudge – at least not publicly – former Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero humbly dedicated the award of Ordinary Officer (Civil Division) in the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) he received last week from Governor-General Froyla Tzalam to a host of staff and supporters.
Dr. Manzanero was thrust into the public spotlight two years ago next week when the first cases of COVID-19 arrived in Belize and steadily guided the country through the first waves of the pandemic until he was unceremoniously dropped shortly into the new government’s term.
Initially outcast from the Ministry for perceived faults, errors, and missteps, he was salved with the offer of a new post, Director of International Medical Cooperation, while his old post was separated into two offices, neither of which have been filled to date.
He explains on social media, “As I have shared with the Technical Advisors at the Ministry of Health and who I directly supervised and the internal COVID-19 MOH team, this [award is] in part is due to their diligent work in 2020.”
In no particular order, he dedicates the award to frontline healthcare workers who have held the fort for so long; those grieving losses to, survived and battle the continuing effects of COVID-19; the members of the National Oversight Committee and the Task Force that shared the headaches and decisions making processes in matters related to COVID-19 beyond health decisions; technical advisors and members of the internal core team that helped to plan, review data and discuss experiences and challenges that relayed key information; the press for conducting the flow of information to the public; his colleagues in Latin America and the Caribbean for sharing the learning process and continuing to engage in relevant discussion, and friends, family and “peeps” for their support.
He graciously concludes, “It was an honor to stand with all those awarded today, congratulations to all of them. All in the line of duty and we would surely do it all over again… Gracias totales…”
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