The 5th April 2019 was a sunny day, perfect for hosting an outdoor activity. After months of planning, the Solidarity Chain event was launched at Barbados’ Garrison Savannah to commemorate World Health Day under the theme Universal Health: Everyone, Everywhere. For Universal Health Day (UHD) which is recognized on 12 December, we reflect on this historic event.
“Universal Health is not just about ensuring everyone is covered, but that everyone has access to care when they need it, wherever they are.”
The Solidarity Chain was a collaborative event by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Ministry of Health and Wellness. The human chain was formed by people from all walks of life around the 50th anniversary monument at the Garrison Savannah as a demonstration of commitment to work towards Universal Health. Here are quotes from speakers at the event:
Lt. Col. Honourable Jeffery Bostic, Minister of Health and Wellness who delivered the feature address said that “The theme, “Universal Health: Everyone, Everywhere”, is also consistent with the policy goals of the Government of Barbados, which places a high priority on providing universal access to high quality health care for the people of Barbados. As a Government, we are committed to achieving a number of new initiatives which we believe will transform the health care landscape of Barbados.”
Dr Godfrey Xuereb PAHO/WHO Representative for Barbados and Eastern Caribbean Countries (PWR-ECC) said that WHO and PAHO has dedicated their 71 years of existence in trying to ensure that all people of the world lead a healthy life both physically and mentally, “Universal Health is not just about ensuring everyone is covered, but that everyone has access to care when they need it, wherever they are.”
Dr Rufus Ewing, Health Systems and Services Advisor, PAHO/WHO Office for Barbados and Eastern Caribbean Countries stated that “Your presence here today and your participation in the human chain formation is not just symbolic but a demonstration of your strong commitment towards the advancement of Universal Health coverage and access in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Countries and the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”