Canada Scales Up its Support to PAHO in its COVID-19 Response in the Caribbean

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Dr. Besasor-McKenzie, Jamaica's Chief Medical Officer and Dr Bernadette Theodore-Gandi, PAHO/WHO Representative for Jamaica, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. Photo: PAHO

Canada says it will contribute CAN$1.2 million to support the efforts of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) against COVID-19 in six Caribbean countries.

The donation by the Canadian government will be used to acquire essential personal protection equipment, laboratory and medical equipment, as well as supplies to be used by health care workers and hospitals in the Bahamas, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, as part of PAHO’s technical cooperation in the fight against the pandemic.

It will also help strengthen communication efforts around public health risks, continued promotion of protective measures and community engagement.

“The pandemic is putting health care workers and systems of the countries in the Caribbean under great strain, which is why we are grateful to the Government of Canada for supporting COVID-19 treatment for countries in the Caribbean that are struggling due to the pandemic. Their contribution will help save lives and shows how we can all join forces in solidarity to defeat this virus,” said PAHO Director Dr. Carissa Etienne.

The contribution is part of a five-year subregional programme between PAHO and Canada, which aims to reduce the heath consequence of emergencies and disasters in the Caribbean, through better preparedness and a more resilient health sector. It builds on the longstanding relationship between the organization and the Canadian government to strengthen health emergency risk management in the Region of the Americas.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Government of Canada has donated over US$8 million to support PAHO’s technical cooperation to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in the Americas.

Canada’s Acting Senior Director for the Caribbean Regional Development Program, Ms. Jennifer Heys, said: “Even one year later, COVID-19 continues to challenge health systems across the Caribbean, and we continue to see the stark health and socioeconomic impacts this crisis is having on the Caribbean people. Canada is proud to partner with PAHO once again to provide additional much-needed medical equipment, supplies, and training to support the Caribbean countries that are facing the greatest health sector crisis from COVID-19.”

CMC

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