The Ministry of Health and Wellness has improved access to care at the Victoria Respiratory Hospital thanks to the generous financial assistance of the India-UN partnership fund and the support of the UNOSSC and UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. The specially designated hospital has been equipped with 2 ventilators to support Saint Lucia’s response to COVID-19 and reduce the impact a potential second wave could have on the island.
The Government of Saint Lucia has been steadfastly leading the implementation of programmes and policies in order to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and facilitate the country’s recovery. The ventilators delivered, represent the first set of equipment which will be provided to improve the resilience of the Saint Lucian health system. Personal protective equipment including gowns, face shields, face goggles and hazmat suits will also be arriving on the island in the near future to bolster national efforts against the virus.
Minister of Health and Wellness Honourable Mary Issac expressed her appreciation for the collaboration between UNDP, UNOSSC and the Indian government in order to make this contribution to Saint Lucia at this critical moment, stating “As we continue to prepare our respiratory hospital, these ventilators are a welcomed addition to the much needed supplies that are required to equip the facility. We are very grateful that these gifts are being donated to us at a time when revenue is almost non-existent. Allow me to express once again, our heartfelt gratitude to the India-UN Partnership Development Fund for their assistance to Saint Lucia in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Speaking on the response, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. Ugo Blanco noted that in a context where the market was overstretched with demands UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean multi-country office thanks the global procurement team in Denmark and UNDP country office in China for accelerating the procurement of these ventilators and added “We are glad that UNDP expertise and agreements with suppliers succeeded to import this vital equipment and for us it is a pleasure to continue working with Minister Issac and her team to support the Government and people of Saint Lucia.”
These activities form part of the UNDP COVID-19 Response Programme for the Eastern Caribbean focused on developing resilient health systems to respond to COVID-19, assessing and addressing the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic and; facilitating management of the crisis through a multi-sectoral response framework, which includes assistance for the reopening of the economy. The programme complements other ongoing collaborations between UNDP and the Government of Saint Lucia in areas related to citizen security (CariSECURE), Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP) and support to e-commerce services developed for Micro Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs).
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