The Project, funded by the EU in partnership with PAHO and the Ministry of Health will retrofit six health care facilities throughout the country
Belize City, Belize, 23 August 2019 (PAHO/WHO) — Six public health facilities across Belize are to be retrofitted to ensure that they are climate resilient thanks to a new project from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the European Union (EU) and the Ministry of Health. The “Health Sector Support Programme, Belize” Project aims to improve the structure, organization and management of health services, and develop efficient, effective, disaster resilient and environmentally friendly health facilities. It ensures that public hospital facilities, including three regional hospitals, two community hospitals and the central medical laboratory, are retrofitted to improve disaster resilience while saving energy and water.
As part of the initiative, a team of trained evaluators from the Ministries of Health, Energy, Works and also from the Social Investment Fund are conducting health facility assessments using PAHO’s Smart Hospitals Toolkit which includes the Hospital Safety Index (HSI) and the Green Checklist.
“The SMART Hospitals Toolkit, which is already being utilized in several Caribbean countries, has already proven effective for reducing risk, building resilience and protecting the environment,” said Dr Noreen Jack, PAHO/WHO Representative in Belize. “The methodology has even been extended to schools and hotels in the region.”
Safe + Green = Smart (+ Maintenance)
The facilities selected for the project will receive improvements in water and energy efficiency, cooling/ventilation systems, plumbing and electrical systems, including backup power supply and renewable energy systems.
Efficient, disaster resilient and environmentally friendly health facilities can better serve people in their communities and can continue providing services both during, and in the aftermath of, a disaster, and in the context of climate change. Services provided at the health facilities are not expected to be interrupted during the retrofitting works. The initiative is funded by the EU for a total cost of 3.5 M Euros (approx. 7.9 M Belize Dollars) and is being implemented through the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) in Belize in partnership with the Ministry of Health.