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Jun 8, 2018

Southern Regional Gets Medical Lab

The Southern Regional Hospital has a brand new lab.  The new facility was inaugurated on Thursday in Dangriga where the funders, PROBITAS, foundation that provides medical resources, training and funding from Spain, along with UNICEF and the Ministry of Health, gathered to official open the new addition to the hospital. Andrea Polanco shares more about the new lab.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Southern Regional Hospital has a new medical laboratory. The spanking new facility is fitted with modern and automated equipment. The lab will provide essential health services, including the testing of specimen to help provide diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases in the south.


Angel Campos

Dr. Angel Campos, Minister of State, Ministry of Health

“In Belize, this has led upgrading and equipping the southern regional laboratory which caters to the population in Dangriga, per se, and all surrounding villages, like Santa Theresa Health Center which is a very remote area. And it will improve the access to much needed laboratory services particularly for mothers and children which represent very vulnerable population group in the ministry. The valuable support provided will enable our frontline personnel to provide better quality care through enhanced capacity to fine tune diagnosis and enable better screening, as well as provide opportune interventions to those who know it.”


According to lab supervisor Desiree Joseph, the facility meets basic accreditation standards and is complemented with trained personnel. The new lab is now able to provide expanded healthcare services.


Desiree Joseph

Desiree Joseph, Supervisor, Southern Regional Hospital Laboratory

“In Phlebotomy, the addition of a chair now allows for an increase flow of patients of which ultimately decreases their waiting time. In blood bank, the ergonomically designed couch complements attention given to the donors. The blood bank scale now allows us to accurately measure the required volume of blood being collected as stipulated in protocol. The tube sealers now allow for efficient post –collection preparation of cross match pilot sample. The addition of a blood bank fridge now allows us to properly and safely separate the screened unit from those that are unscreened. In the general lab area, the increase of counter space now allows us the means to segregate and designate our work stations according to the type of analysis being performed. The addition of a microscope has drastically decreased waiting time for the lab tech to perform their microscopic examinations. There now exist more space for storage of supplies, reagents and files. The addition of the eyewash station and emergency shower is most comforting. This invaluable piece of equipment is essential in any lab that processes chemical and hazardous materials.”


The lab project was funded through a foundation called PROBITAS in Spain and supported by UNICEF. The aim is to provide the best healthcare to reach vulnerable populations, especially women and children.


Merce Claret

Dr. Merce Claret, Project Manager, Global Lab Initiative, PROBITAS

“For us diagnosis is very important. It is like the entry point to the communities. A good diagnosis is basic to good health and so we strengthen these laboratories especially the ones in very remote areas.  So, what we try to do is that we equip the laboratory, improve the infrastructure and then train the technician, as well.”


Susan Kasedde

Dr. Susan Kasedde, Country Representative, UNICEF

“The work on this lab and what we are able to do in terms of managing the health and supporting our community here; the families in this community; to maintain and continue to build the health of families and children is essential and it starts with diagnosis. It starts with understanding what is threatening the health of our children, our families and then quickly being able to relay that information on throughout the chain of persons in the position to respond so that they can provide timely support and care to children, to families, so that they can receive that very first, fundament goal, health.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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