The Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment has received two new buses, medical equipment and supplies from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

The handing over ceremony was held on Friday, November 12, 2021 at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium.

Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit thanked PAHO for their continued support to Dominica.

“We are grateful to PAHO for these resources. I want to thank you, Dr. Etienne for your leadership and for the collaborative efforts between the Government of Dominica and PAHO over the years and especially in these trying times,” Hon. Skerrit stated.

“PAHO has done a remarkable job in this challenging period for the hemisphere in terms of ensuring that all nations, big and small, had access to the resources to help combat Covid-19 especially access to vaccine. And had it not been for the leadership and the coordination role of PAHO with regards to the COVAX facility, many nations would have had a challenge in accessing the vaccine, PM. Skerrit added.

Acting Minister for Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, Hon. Kent Edwards stated that these resources will make the work of the medical staff much easier. 

“I can say without doubt that it is moments like these that power the staff in spite of the challenges that we are facing during this covid-19 pandemic. The items we are receiving are very significant and vital and will continue to make the performance of duties much easier. These have been challenging times but the staff has been dedicated and resilient, and much of this I can attest can be tied to the fact that the resources needed for the performance of the duties are being provided to them” Hon. Edwards stated. 

Director of PAHO and Regional Director for the Americas of WHO, Dr. Carissa Etienne described the ceremony as an “honour”, stating that PAHO is pleased to be handing over several items to the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica to support the Ministry of Health in its efforts to address the Covid-19 response.

“We are here for the handing over of the some supplies, equipment, and two buses. The items provided by PAHO today will strengthen the health systems as the country continues to work towards the provision of universal health care to all of its citizens, including the response to the covid-19 pandemic. The catastrophic human, social and economic toll of Covid-9 has demonstrated that investing in health is key for economic security and that economic development and health development are inextricably linked,” Dr. Etienne stated.

The PAHO Director went on to say that if a collective approach is taken towards fighting the pandemic, Dominica and the region will find their way out of the pandemic.

‘The situation that we face is challenging but not hopeless. It is concerning but not unsurmountable. If our approach to defeating the virus is based on collected vision and individual responsibility, based on science and evidence, based on empathy and compassion, based on partnership and leadership we will come out of this pandemic faster,” Dr. Etienne added.