The Winston Scott Polyclinic received another piece of medical equipment from the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) last Monday, bringing to a total of over $250 000 in donations to that institution over the last year.
The latest donation, presented by BIBA president, Andrew Alleyne, to Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Cheryl Alleyne, included several pieces of equipment, the major ones being a walk-in vaccine cooler and a generator.
BIBA Trustee Chair, Lisl Lewis, thanked all the donors who responded to the fund-raising drive and highlighted the effort of John Howard who completed a 10-hour, 25-kilometre swim from St. Lawrence to Port St. Charles, which raised close to $30 000.
Mrs. Alleyne, who delivered an address on behalf of Health Minister John Boyce, expressed gratitude to BIBA for the equipment, which would play a major role in the Ministry???s Expanded Programme on Immunisation.
She noted that this programme, which was spearheaded by retired Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Elizabeth Ferdinand, led to the signal achievement of Barbados being certified free of polio. Recently, it was announced that the Caribbean, including Barbados, was now free of rubella and congenital rubella syndrome.
Mrs. Alleyne revealed that Barbados had been free of all vaccine preventable childhood diseases since 2001, with only two cases of imported measles being diagnosed since that time.
???The country continues to maintain zero cases of polio, neonatal tetanus, measles, rubella, yellow fever and congenital rubella syndrome, and over the past two decades immunisation coverage has been consistently 90 per cent,??? she stated.
She said that partnerships such as the one between the Ministry of Health, BIBA and its donors were important, since health and well-being must be considered a multi-sectoral responsibility, which was central to the country???s overall economic growth and development. During the ceremony, a plaque displaying the names of the donors was unveiled.