PAHO donates new vehicle to Nevis Ministry of Health

Dr. Yitades Gebre, right, representative of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization to Barbados and Eastern Caribbean, presented his credentials to the Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Foreign Affairs in Basseterre last February.
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CHARLESTOWN, Nevis — The Ministry of Health in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) has received a brand new vehicle from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Ms. Shelisa Martin-Clarke, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health in the Nevis Island Administration delivers remarks at the virtual handing over ceremony for the donation of a new sport utility vehicle from the Pan American Health Organization.

At a December 11 virtual presentation ceremony, Ms. Shelisa Martin-Clarke, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health said the Toyota Rush SUV is a significant contribution to the critical operations of the Ministry.

Also present at the ceremony were Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, Junior Minister of Health and Dr. Judy Nisbett, Medical Officer of Health, and Chair of the Nevis COVID-19 Task Force.

“One of the key challenges we have, as it relates to public health surveillance, is transportation,” said Ms. Martin-Clarke. “Transportation is a supportive service in the delivery of health care and the lack of transportation can impact how, who, when, and where we provide those services.

The new Toyota Rush SUV donated to the Ministry of Health in the Nevis Island Administration by the Pan American Health Organization.

“Transportation is also a critical part of our officers’ daily work routines,” she said. “This became even more apparent with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic here in country when we were forced to either rent vehicles or borrow vehicles from other departments for use in our surveillance activities.

“Through the handing over of this vehicle the Ministry will be able to support the public health team, particularly in the area of contact tracing and vector control,” she said.

Ms. Martin-Clarke extended thanks to PAHO on behalf of the Ministry of Health and by extension, the government and people of Nevis.

“We are indeed grateful to the Pan American Health Organization for purchasing this much-needed vehicle,” said Ms. Martin-Clarke. “PAHO continues to partner with the Ministry and continues to support initiatives that aim to improve the lives of our people.”

Dr. Yitades Gebre, PAHO/World Health Organization (WHO) Representative to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, noted that since January 2020 PAHO has been engaging with St. Kitts and Nevis to determine the level of preparedness and provide training for healthcare and other frontline workers for COVID-19.

He said in preparation for the management of COVID-19, the NIA had included a vehicle as part of the list of needed supplies and equipment to strengthen the capacity of surveillance officers.

Dr. Gebre said he was pleased to be part of the presentation process of the vehicle to the Ministry of Health in Nevis, which is intended to compliment the local resources being expended on the management of the virus.

He pledged PAHO would continue to work hand in hand with the Ministry of Health.

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