The Carib Council this afternoon officially opened a new, state-of-the-art health facility situated in the community of Salybia in the Carib Territory which had been under construction since 2003.
The facility will seek to address the primary healthcare needs of the Kalinago people.
Kalinago Chief Garnett Joseph, addressing the handing over ceremony, described the completion of this initiative as a dream come true and acknowledged the assistance his council received from various groups is indispensable.
“We promised you a medical facility and today, this is it. It has taken a long time in construction, it also took a very long time to be put into use but after many years we are here today to officially mark the commencement of service in this building. This is a dream that has come together, put together and spearheaded by the Kalinago Council but built by the Kalinago people with support from persons who have an interest in the development of the Kalinago territory and its people,” he said.
The Chief mentioned that the project could not have been completed without the help of Childfund Caribbean, Nazarene Development Fund and the Salybia Mission Project. He also thanked the work of over 120 persons from the surrounding community who gave voluntary labor towards the construction of the facility.
Acting Minister of Health Justina Charles remarked, “The Ministry of Health welcomes the partnership with the Carib Council, geared towards the efficient management of this facility. In addition, this partnership, we hope, will ensure a greater sense of ownership and responsibility by the Carib people. After all, this is your facility. Above all, I appreciate the council’s steadfast commitment to Primary Healthcare. I wholeheartedly welcome your decision to make primary healthcare a necessary condition for improving the social welfare of the Carib people and also to make it clear that primary healthcare starts with people.”
Acting Prime Minister, Rayburn Blackmoore was also a guest of honor at the ceremony and assured the Carib Chief of his support for this effort. He also urged the Kalinago people to take care of the facility.
He said, “I want to just say to you, you built this facility and therefore you must show ownership of it. True ownership must be demonstrated in the most fundamental things. That is, to take care of the building. You have built it with your sweat and hard work. Do not vandalize it.”
Blackmoore, who is also Minister of Public Works, promised swift completion of the road network in the Carib Territory.
The facility, which began operations on August 6, 2011, was also funded by the Dominica Carib Organization in the UK and the Canadian Fund for Local Ingenuity, but required no funds from the Government of Dominica.
The facility boasts high-tech and modern medical equipment which includes a state-of-the-art ECG machine with a database of 20,000 heart conditions and which does not need a physician to make a diagnosis.