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Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, (third from right) accepting a donation to The Evalina Smith’s Children’s Unit of the St. Philip District Hospital, from Rotary Club of Barbados (RCOB), District 7030 and International partner Walsall Saddler, District 1210 of the United Kingdom. Also present were (l-r) President of RCOB, Tony Williams; Representative from Carib Rehab, Patrick Bethel; and Project Coordinator and Past President of RCOB, Brenda Pope.?? Partially hidden is Past President and Director of Club Service , Erskine Thompson. (A.Miller/BGIS)??

The Evalina Smith’s Children’s Unit of the St. Philip District Hospital today received a donation of equipment from the Rotary Club of Barbados, worth just over $50,000.

Health Minister, Donville Inniss, was on hand to accept the gift, along with Principal Nursing Officer of the Hospital, Lolene Rawlins.???? The Unit was presented with six electric home care beds, two shower commode chairs, an aspirator, a blood pressure monitor, a nebulizer and other supporting items.??

Mr. Inniss pointed out that the equipment would "go a long way" in caring for the 18 children, many of whom have multiple disabilities and were residents of the hospital.

"We cannot quantify this contribution in dollars and cents.?? What you have done here at the unit, over the years, is testimony to your commitment as a club and is just what we need to take this institution to a higher level… When we don’t have the requisite quantum and quality of diagnostic equipment in these facilities, like here in St. Philip, we have the challenge of transporting individuals down to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) or to the polyclinics, or wherever, to get that necessary attention," he remarked.

Mr. Inniss added that the public health care system continued to encourage and embrace philanthropy and partnerships with non-governmental organisation’s and civil society, as this assisted the ministry in caring for those who were less fortunate.?? One of the Sister’s at the Unit, Cynthia Moore, disclosed that just last week one of the donated items, allowed the nurses there to carry out a procedure that previously, would have to be done at the QEH.

The Health Minister commended the staff for "going beyond the call of duty" not only to ensure the clinical well-being of the patients but also their physical safety.?? He also encouraged service groups and individuals to give back to persons who were less fortunate in some way- if not in a financial way, then, by making a difference in their lives by spending time with some of those who were in residential care across the island.

The donation was made through a matching grant where a rotary club identifies a project then seeks another international club to partner with it to fund the project by matching the costs. These humanitarian service programmes are sometimes then further supported by the Rotary Foundation.?? It is the intention of the club to provide additional modern equipment and appliances, including additional beds, not only for the children’s unit, but for the other wards to enhance the quality of care.

lisa.bayley@barbados.gov.bb

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