NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS — The Ministry of Health in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) has been gifted a brand new vehicle from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
At a virtual handing over ceremony on December 11, 2020, Ms. Shelisa Martin-Clarke, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health described the Toyota Rush SUV as a significant contribution to the critical operations of the Ministry.
“One of the key challenges we have, more specifically as it relates to public health surveillance, is transportation. 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.
“Transportation is also a critical part of our officers’ daily work routines. 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… PAHO continues to partner with the Ministry and continues to support initiatives that aim to improve the lives of our people,” she said.
Dr. Yitades Gebre, PAHO/World Health Organization (WHO) Representative to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, noted that since January 2020 the Pan American Health Organization 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. Yitades said he was pleased to be part of the hand over 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 also pledged that PAHO would continue to work hand in hand with the Ministry of Health.
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.