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Jul 16, 2014

A new fleet of vehicles for the Ministry of Health

This morning, the Vector Control Unit of the Ministry of Health benefitted from a donation of eleven Toyota Hilux pickup trucks, courtesy of the European Union in collaboration with the Pan-American Health Organization. The trucks will be put to immediate use in the districts to bolster the unit’s surveillance and prevention activities where vector-borne diseases are concerned. With the rainy season started, the donation is timely and pertinent. Mike Rudon was in Belmopan this morning for the handing over.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

The eleven vehicles handed over this morning are costing the EU about seven hundred and fifty thousand Euros, and are part of a larger project to strengthen the country’s vector-borne disease fighting activities.

 

Kim Bautista, Chief of Operations, Vector Control

“The vehicles that are being handed over today will go directly to the vector control units in the six districts, so we should see a direct strengthening of surveillance in the communities, as well as other activities such as ULV spraying or fogging activities.”

 

Gerardo de Cosio

Dr. Gerardo de Cosio, PAHO/WHO

“We were looking for some partners to support the country…how can we strengthen the activities for vector control in the country. And the EU got very interested in supporting Belize in these activities. There is a real need to strengthen the country with activities like this, so whatever we do that can contribute to reducing the numbers of dengue and malaria…remember Belize is on the road to malaria elimination hopefully by 2017…Belize will be at that stage, and this project is specifically supporting that activity.”

 

The vehicles will be activated for use shortly…as early as next week they should be retrofitted for spraying and out in the six regions doing the work for which they were donated.

 

Kim Bautista

Kim Bautista

“The project currently includes an additional six ULV machines. Each of those machines comes at a cost of approximately ten thousand US, and so that should bring the total number of fogging machines in the country to twenty-two, which will give us not only to fit all the regions with at least two machines per district, including the islands, but it will also allow us to have in stock in terms of emergency equipment in the event of any natural disaster.”

 

The European Union is currently the largest donor to Belize, and so while this donation today is significant in this particular sector, the partnership is reaping benefits throughout the Ministry of Health.

 

Peter Allen, C.E.O., Ministry of Health

Peter Allen

“This is particularly helpful in our fight against dengue, against malaria and against the new threat of Chikingunya, as you’ve heard, but we also have a six million dollar grant for maternal and neonatal health, the morbidity and mortality of babies and mothers that is being implemented as we speak. A contract is about to be signed for a new vaccine storage building in Belmopan…again with a grant from the Europan Union and counterpart funding from the government of Belize. That particular grant also buys important medical supplies and equipment for incubators and other supplies for babies and mothers. And it allows us to extend laboratory function in Punta Gorda, in Orange Walk and in Corozal.”

 

But for today the focus is on the vector control unit…the new and improved unit strengthened with the addition of eleven modern all terrain SUVs.

 

Kim Bautista

“The strength of the program is dependent on the mobility of the staff. We work on a daily basis in all the rural areas and in the urban areas. The movement of personnel and also the movement of equipment and also machines and vehicles in order to respond timely when we have cases of dengue, for example…we want to respond in a timely fashion…so with these vehicles we can respond in that fashion.”

 

The total project is worth eight hundred and fifty-thousand Euros…with the government providing one hundred thousand Euros in counterpart funding. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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6 Responses for “A new fleet of vehicles for the Ministry of Health”

  1. Dumb Guy says:

    Another under the table deal at the Ministry of Health. Or am I the only one that will calculate the cost per vehicle? Ungodly. Oh and a complete joke of a “bidding process” too I hear.

  2. Rod says:

    More vehicles for this useless corrupt gov. To run around doing personal business and wasting gas and the publics money they take care of nothing in this gov. They break up everything that is given to them useless pm and gov.

  3. Belizean says:

    More vehicles to spray that nasty poison that give me crazy crazy headaches!!

  4. Eye in the Sky says:

    Minister of health from Corozal made sure they were Toyotas bought from his cousin. Bet he got a commision for the business sent.

  5. Disappointed says:

    Let’s see which ones the LIAD CEO and his useless Minister will TAKE for their personal use. This is a matter of “when” and not “if” because the two of them already have their eyes on these new vehicles.

  6. oscar says:

    SO with that monies they could have bought 22 vehicles. not 11, .
    where is the other half of the monies, where it goes??

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