Barbados yesterday received CAN$485,614 in COVID-19 supplies from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
The donation is as a result of a CAN$17.5 million commitment to PAHO by the Government of Canada.
PAHO/WHO Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Dr. Yitades Gebre, explained at the handover ceremony that the Canadian Government had provided the funding to assist in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money is being utilised by PAHO to bolster the essential services necessary to save lives, to protect healthcare workers and to support efforts to slow the speed of transmission of the virus.
Yesterday’s donation to Barbados, which was accepted by Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic, comprised 59,200 respirator masks; 256,000 medical masks; 2,800 protective goggles; and 8,400 isolation gowns.
Lt. Col. Bostic, in expressing thanks to PAHO and the Canadian Government, noted that the donation had come at “just the right time”.
“It comes at a time when we have commenced the resumption of commercial flights into Barbados, and with the resumption of commercial flights, that signals another phase in our efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He stressed that essential to the success of these efforts was the equipment that was required by frontline workers, so that they could safely execute their duties…. “Our efforts will be based on a lot of testing at the airport, testing at satellite facilities, and as the flights ramp up, testing throughout the country”.
The Government Minister said he looked forward to further collaboration with the Government of Canada and other friendly governments as well as with PAHO, which has been providing not only material support to Barbados, in respect of the pandemic, but also valuable technical advice.
At the handover ceremony, which took place at PAHO’s Dayrells Road headquarters, the Canadian High Commission in Barbados was represented by Senior Development Officer, Natalie Hutchinson.