Three community wellness centres have been upgraded to be greener and more resilient to natural disasters.
The official opening of the Desruisseaux, Belle Vue and Mon Repos Wellness Centres was celebrated with ribbon cutting ceremonies that marked an improvement in the delivery of climate-smart and safer healthcare facilities in Saint Lucia.
Minister for Health and Wellness, Sen. Hon. Mary Isaac, said the SMART Healthcare Facilities Project will play a significant part in strengthening healthcare services in Saint Lucia.
“I have witnessed today the reopening of three necessary facilities. For a long time now, our nurses and doctors have had to endure working in facilities that were less than adequate. But they continued to provide healthcare services as best as they could, under very challenging conditions, and the opening of these projects today will provide them with a reliable supply of water, and better lighting.”
The SMART Healthcare Facilities Project was implemented by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) with funding from the UK Department for International Development.
PAHO Country Programme Specialist, Tessa Stroude, said PAHO will continue to work with the government to improve the quality of healthcare services in Saint Lucia.
“Today, we handed over to the Government of Saint Lucia three wellness centres which have received small interventions based on SMART standards,” she said. “They not only look prettier, but are also functional, and they are able to run more efficiently to serve the needs of the communities and the people of Saint Lucia.”
Assistant Principal Nursing Officer, Tecla Jn. Baptiste, said health workers received the necessary training to ensure the facilities function optimally.
“In order to increase their readiness for emergencies and to support the upgrades, the staff were engaged in contingency planning workshops. These workshops ensured that staff at all facilities developed and maintained a comprehensive contingency plan. Health workers were trained using SMART hospital parameters in contingency planning and methods to respond effectively to future events.”
Each healthcare facility was retrofitted under the SMART Healthcare Facilities Project at the cost of US$100,000.