by Linda Straker
Grenada is among 3 countries in the OECS that will receive funding through the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) from the European Investment Bank, to strengthen health systems to better withstand future health crises in the event of a future severe economic and social dislocation as occurred during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.
At a meeting on Thursday, 30 March, the CDB’s board of directors ratified the approval of 3 loans in the sums of US$9.97 million, US$9.86 million and US$10 million to the governments of Grenada, Saint Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines, respectively. The funding is allocated from the European Investment Bank (EIB) resources to CDB under the EIB Climate Action Line of Credit II – Covid-19 Component.
CDB’s Vice-President of Operations, Mr Isaac Solomon, said the Covid-19 pandemic revealed cracks in the healthcare systems, making the investment timely. “The unrelenting demands of the pandemic unearthed and made more prominent and urgent, critical frailties in our health sector around the areas of limited human, infrastructure and institutional capacity,” said Mr Solomon.
A news release from the CDB said the funding for Grenada will assist with infrastructural works and updates at various medical facilities, including the St George’s General Hospital, Westerhall Medical Station, St George’s Medical Station, Grand Bras Health Facility, New Hampshire Health Facility, River Sallee Medical Station, Hillsborough Health Centre, Mt Gay Psychiatric Hospital.
“It will also fund capacity building and training for health care workers in key areas including the Biomedical Equipment Technician Certification, rehabilitation and counselling, and risk communication. The funding will also support increased training for nurses in a range of specialities including intensive care, nephrology, neonatology, emergency care, geriatric care, oncology and nursing administration,” the release said.
The loan will also cover support for purchasing goods and equipment throughout the health sector and institutional strengthening initiatives such as a planned digitalisation of the health sector.