IMG 7124 21000On Wednesday, 12th February, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) hosted the kick-off meeting to officially launch the design phase of three health facilities in Belize. PAHO/WHO project coordinators, engineers, check consultant, with the Ministry of Health officials, and the contracted design company met to discuss timelines, scope of works and project design standards.

The activity is part of the smart hospitals component of the EU-funded “Health Sector Support Programme Belize” project being implemented through PAHO/WHO, in partnership with the Ministry of Health. The component aims to retrofit a total of six health facilities in Belize to be disaster resilient and environmentally friendly. Assessments and evaluations of the health facilities have been completed, and a design company has been selected and contracted to do the designs for three of the six facilities.

To execute these designs, Mitchell-Moody Associates was awarded the design contract for Punta Gorda Community Hospital, Corozal Community Hospital, and Southern Regional Hospital.

“We’ll be looking at making the buildings more structurally sound and green,” said Moody. “Also, looking at making the facilities more efficient in terms of energy, flow and water consumption.”

IMG 7141The design phase is expected to take up to six months which includes a series of site visits to the facilities for healthcare workers and communities’ engagements. At project completion, it is anticipated that the health facilities will have major cost-saving benefits through improvements of water and energy efficiency, light and air quality and overall safety conditions. Thus, creating a safer and more efficient health facility for the Belizean people.

"The project will enhance the health facilities making them safer for both patients and healthcare providers," said Ms. Lizett Bell, MOH-Director of Policy Analysis and Planning Unit. "The services will be provided in an environment that promotes integrated quality of services."

The smart hospital component is only one part of the “Health Sector Support Programme Belize” project with the second component focusing on strengthening Belize’s healthcare system and promoting a healthier lifestyle in the country. Through this partnership the Ministry of Health and the European Union, PAHO/WHO aims to contribute to the achievement of the overall goal of “Better Health for Belize.”