Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley unveils a plaque at the Eunice Gibson Polyclinic yesterday. At left is Minister of Health and Wellness Lt. C​ol. Jeffrey Bostic and at right BIBA president Julia Hope. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Mental health treatment for the youth and the elderly will be the new focus of the charity run by the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA).

BIBA is a private sector organization made up of companies engaged in international business in Barbados.  Its charity has provided more than $800,000 worth of equipment to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and the island’s polyclinics over the last nine years.

President of BIBA, Julia Hope, speaking at a ceremony last Wednesday at the Eunice Gibson Polyclinic, Warrens, St. Michael, announced that the next area of need that the charity will target is mental health.

The presentation represented the last tranche of medical equipment and furniture to the polyclinic, which has benefited from donations over three years.

The equipment received by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and valued at over $200,000, comprised a dental chair, three vital signs monitors, five foetal Doppler hand-held machines, two examination tables and several pieces critical to the polyclinic’s functioning.

Ms. Hope explained that the donations were made possible through “the absolute generosity of the friends and family of BIBA”.  The funds are raised through direct contributions from members and a variety of fund-raising efforts spearheaded by trustees.

The BIBA official maintained that ongoing investment in the national health system not only saved lives but also had a meaningful impact on the economic development of small states such as Barbados.

She stated: “Whether born here or having adopted this island as our home, our members want to be part of the solution.  In this instance, we are happy to be able to support the effort to shift some of the burden from the hospital by making the polyclinic better equipped for outpatient care and responding to non-life-threatening illnesses.”

Ms. Hope said her organization was of the view that the several challenges stymying the economic development of Barbados could be better solved by the public and private sectors working hand-in-hand, adding: “We therefore look forward to further partnerships that generate solutions that redound to be the benefit of all those who reside on our beautiful island.”

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