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PAHO donates US$1.4m more in PPE


PAHO donates US$1.4m more in PPE
Dr Yitades Gebre (left), PAHO and WHO representative to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, presenting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Janet Phillips with one of the packages, as Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic looks on. (Picture by Lennox Devonish.)

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The Ministry of Health has received another US$1 452 091 worth of medical equipment to help with contact tracing and personal protective equipment (PPE) for those on the front line of the COVID-19 fight.

It came from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) yesterday, as Dr Yitades Gebre, PAHO and World Health Organisation representative to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, urged countries to continue with health measures, inclusive of the vaccine, to stem the spread of the virus.

Minister of Health and Wellness Jeffrey Bostic received the donation at PAHO’s headquarters in Dayrells Road, Christ Church.

“The last three months have been the most difficult for the Ministry of Health and Wellness since I have been minister. I believe the most difficult for the country and certainly the most difficult for me personally as minister. Challenging, difficult, but rewarding because we had to work on behalf of our people. That was and continues to be an honour,” Bostic said, while pledging to continue the battle against COVID-19.

He said some of the challenges included increasing the number of isolation facilities, extending testing programme initiatives once reagents were restocked, and the rollout of the vaccines which required greater use of supplies.

Yesterday’s package included two boxes of 15 MagMAXTM viral/pathogen nucleic acid isolation kits; 10 000 N95 respirators; ten oxygen concentrator biomedical bundles – five adult and five paediatric; COVID-19 kits inclusive of PPEs for patients; and IT equipment for three polyclinics (St Philip, Eunice Gibson and Maurice Byer) to help with contact tracing.

Gebre said that in the coming weeks they would be delivering vaccines through the COVAX facility. However, he added vaccines alone would not stem the pandemic and urged countries to continue testing, contact tracing, isolation, supported quarantine and quality care. (RA)