Dozens of Marigot residents, joined by members of the Dominica Nurses Association (DNA) and other supporters, gathered near the police station in Marigot on Monday to protest against the current lack of proper health care services in that community.
Residents say they are frustrated with the delay in the construction of a much-needed hospital at Marigot which has been compounded by the lack of a proper alternative facility for the provision of health services.
The hospital was shut down in 2016 due to mold and fungus infestation of the building which housed the facility. Prior to that, it was closed because of a severe termite infection. Its services were moved to the Wesley Health Centre.
Promises of the construction of a new Marigot Hospital have not materialized despite an announcement by the DLP administration that the Government of Mexico has committed US$5-million for the construction of the hospital.
The protesters said the facility was needed not just for Marigot but for the area stretching from the Kalinago Territory through Marigot, Wesley, Woodford Hill to Calibishie.
“It’s not political. It’s not about politics,” one protester said. “It’s about asking for what we need and we really need a proper healthcare in this community.”
She continued, “We feel we have been disrespected…we need somebody to listen to us and take this matter seriously. We have the airport right here…we have schools. We have our elderly. I mean, we really need a hospital; we really need proper healthcare.”
In March 2018, Health Minister Kenneth Darroux said the government was awaiting the designs from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to construct the hospital.