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United States and Pan American Health Organization donate COVID-19 response equipment

Posted: Wednesday, February 8, 2023. 2:39 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: A donation of US$1,292,310.39 will support the capacity of Belize’s cold chain equipment storage and the continued COVID-19 response led by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

The U.S. government funded the donation to the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) to procure the supplies, which include 20 ice-lined refrigerators; 4 refrigerated trucks; 200 vaccine carriers; 500 temperature monitoring devices; 35 remote temperature monitoring devices; 24 air conditioners and 10 ceiling fans and standing fans. Additionally, the United States funded key communication strategies including the development of COVID-19 vaccine jingles targeting both adults and children which were also translated to Spanish, Garifuna, Mopan Maya, and Q’eqchi Maya and aired on local stations. To enhance community ownership and empowerment in increasing awareness of the COVID-19 vaccine benefits, artists and community members participated in painting community murals placed in each of the four health regions of the country.

Relating to the COVID-19 response, communication tools such as feather flags, banners, posters, and loudspeakers were also procured. In addition, contact tracers and data entry encoders were hired for the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) to keep over 200,000 vaccination records up to date. To facilitate a blended work modality, MoHW’s Technical Advisors also received 15 laptops during the pandemic.

Belize PAHO/WHO representative Dr Noreen Jack issued her thanks for the donation while Ambassador Michelle Kwan emphasized, “All of us in the global community must work together to find common solutions for our shared health challenges. The United States is proud to have partnered with PAHO, the WHO, and the Ministry of Health and Wellness to help Belize weather the worst periods of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we stand ready to continue to work together to face whatever health challenges may arise in the future.”

Although the number of cases and deaths has decreased and 70.1% of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean have been vaccinated, the COVID-19 pandemic remains a threat and continues to overwhelm the health system globally.

Through partnership and collaboration, the USG has supported the country’s COVID-19 response through immunization, procurement of cold chain equipment, procurement of vaccination supplies and COVID-19 medications, restoration of health services, and key communication strategies.

“We share the responsibility with important stakeholders as we all strive to have and maintain a strong, productive, and healthy population through collaborative efforts,” said Minister of Health and Wellness Kevin Bernard. “As we pledge to continue to work with key partners to stay committed to the health and well-being of the people of Belize, our team at the Ministry of Health, and everyone who followed the fulfillment of these donations, we couldn’t have done it without you.”


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