The Caribbean Development Bank, (CBD) in collaboration with the InterAmerican Bank, (IDB) on Thursday, February 8, 2024, launched a US$5.22 million project aimed at increasing the capacity of the public health care system in Saint Lucia to respond to current and emergent health security threats.
The initiative was devised to address gaps in Saint Lucia’s health service capacity which became apparent as the country tackled the COVID-19 pandemic. The interventions are focused on improving surveillance, case detection, and monitoring capabilities within the health system which will reduce the transmission of illnesses. The project will also facilitate procurement of protective equipment and other health resources for medical personnel which will improve health service delivery.
CDB’s Director of Projects, Mrs Therese Turner-Jones commended the Government and People of Saint Lucia for efforts to bolster the country’s health sector post-COVID-19.
“We look forward to collaborative efforts to ensure that these projects are delivered effectively and efficiently, and we will work with stakeholders to ensure that we are on the same page. In this way, we will achieve development outcomes that will bolster Saint Lucia’s resilience,” Mrs Turner-Jones said.
The project financing was provided under the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) COVID-19 Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Line of Credit. Inter-American Development Bank, Chief of Operations, Country Department – Barbados, Mr. Jean-Eric Steinhardt, expressed pleasure at the partnership.
“Congratulations to the Government of Saint Lucia for embarking on this project. We at the IDB, now more than ever, are pleased to partner with you to finance initiatives that deliver more effective results for the communities that are meant to benefit. This is the essence of our mission to improve lives,” said Mr. Steinhardt.
Saint Lucia’s Minister for Health, Wellness & Elderly Affairs, the Hon. Moses Jn. Baptiste said the project activities would contribute to health sector reform in Saint Lucia.
“Health sector reform in Saint Lucia will focus on continuing to increase the quality of health care on every level and doing it in a way that benefits those who benefit. We know that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s going to be even more challenging and whatever we do we must be ready for the next pandemic,” said Mr Jn. Baptiste.
The CDB launched several youth and health-related projects in Saint Lucia last week aimed at building resilience in the country’s social sector.