By Khaila Gentle
BELIZE CITY, Mon. June 20, 2022
On Monday, Belize received a donation of 170 pieces of medical equipment, valued at a total of US$875,612 from the Government of Japan. The donation was made through the “Project for Enhancing the Healthcare System through the Provision of Medical Equipment” initiative, of which the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is the project implementing agency.
To mark the completion of the project, a handing-over ceremony was held. There, Minister of Health & Wellness, Hon. Kevin Bernard expressed on behalf of the Government a commitment to ensuring access to adequate healthcare for all Belizeans.
“The Government of Japan takes great pleasure in the successful implementation of this project, which responds to the critical needs in the healthcare system identified by the Ministry of Health. I trust that the equipment will be used appropriately to attend to those who are in need,” said Kentaro Uesugi, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan.
Also in attendance at the ceremony were Mr. Kazuhiro Iryu, Ambassador of Japan to Belize; Ms. Noreen Jack, PAHO Representative in Belize; and Mr. Alejandro Rossi, Director of the UNOPS Multi-Country Office for Costa Rica, Panama, and the English & Dutch-Speaking Caribbean.
Among the donated equipment are three Land Cruiser ambulances, 8 blood gas analyzers, one chemistry analyzer, 15 ECGs, 10 fully equipped emergency carts, 40 infusion pumps, 10 intensive care hospital beds, 5 mechanical ventilators, two mobile X-rays, 50 pulse oximeters, 5 portable ultrasound scanning systems, and one high-level ultrasound system.
The equipment will be distributed among 18 public hospitals and clinics across the country, including in Belize City, Ladyville, San Narciso Village, Valley of Peace, Dangriga, Orange Walk, and several other municipalities.
The governments of Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago have also received donations through the project, with over 57,000 people from across the Caribbean expected to benefit from those donations, including an estimated 8,000 persons in Belize.
According to Alejandro Rossi, Director of the UNOPS Multi-Country Office for the English & Dutch Caribbean, Costa Rica, and Panama, the program contributes to one of the core principles of the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda: leaving no one behind.