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PRESS RELEASE — Sixteen health facilities in Saint Lucia will undergo various degree of improvements to make them disaster resilient and environmentally sound, the Pan American Health Organization announced today, after a thorough period of data collection and analysis of the 34 health facilities in Saint Lucia.
The Ministry of Health, together with PAHO and the UK government has approved the priority listing of health facilities.
Dr. Godfrey Xuereb, PAHO Representative for the Eastern Caribbean, said “Our aim to develop disaster resilient and environmentally sound health facilities is supported by the application of the SMART Toolkit among 38 health facilities in Saint Lucia.”
Five of the facilities were selected for retrofitting including Comfort Bay Senior Citizens Home; Vieux Fort Polyclinic; Transit Home for Children; Castries Health Center and La Clery Health Center. Another 12 facilities will undergo specific smart interventions to support energy and water conservation efforts.
Selection of the facilities and the retrofitting works are being guided by detailed assessments and a team of regional experts under the supervision of Regional Advisor and Project Manager Dr. Dana van Alphen.
The works proposed for the first facility, the Comfort Bay Senior Citizens Home, include improving the roof, fire safety and electrical distribution systems, energy efficient lighting and ventilation quality throughout the facility, providing solar water heaters, rain water harvesting and a photo voltaic system.
Additionally, for the improved safety of patients and those with disabilities, handrails will be provided along all corridors and the tiled floors will be etched to ensure they are not slippery when wet.
A contractor to undertake the works at the Comfort Bay facility is expected to be selected shortly, with retrofitting works commencing in early 2017. PAHO has already begun the tendering for designs for Vieux Fort Polyclinic; Transit Home for Children, Castries Health Center and La Clery Health Center.
PAHO is also working with the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Human Services to complete the drawings and specifications for the remaining 12 facilities.
Phase II of the SMART Health Care Facilities in the Caribbean Project began on June 10, 2015 and is being implemented in Grenada, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, Jamaica, Guyana and Belize over a five-year period ending June 2020. At least 50 facilities are expected to be retrofitted in the seven countries and 600 will be assessed for future interventions.
The Smart Health Care Facilities in the Caribbean project is being supported by the United Kingdom’s Department for International development (UKaid DFID) in the amount of US$38.3 million and implemented through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Health Emergencies Department in partnership with the Ministries of Health.