PAHO/WHO Belize donates emergency family kits to Belize Red Cross

25 Aug 2021
PAHO/WHO handover of family kits

Belize City, Belize, August 25, 2021 (PAHO) - As part of its work in infection prevention and control, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) donated 150 emergency family health kits. The donation seeks to support the efforts of the Belize Red Cross in the management of shelters in Belize in times of natural disasters. 

These emergency health kits will be given to families that use designated shelters during hurricanes, flooding, or other natural disasters. Not only do the health kits prevent and control infections in these settings; but, during the pandemic, they allow families to continue the preventive measures that protect them against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. 

“Sanitation and hygiene become especially important during an emergency and more so during the COVID-19 pandemic,” commented PAHO/WHO Representative in Belize, Dr. Noreen Jack. “During unplanned events, such as hurricanes, shelters protect against loss of life; however, ensuring the safety of persons in these shelters can be accomplished through basic hygiene practices. The emergency health kits not only protect families from getting sick but also protect the health care system from being overwhelmed during an emergency.”

To ensure equitable distribution of the emergency health kits, PAHO/WHO partnered with the Belize Red Cross. Director-General of the Belize Red Cross, Mrs. Lily Bowman explained:

“The Belize Red Cross collaborates closely with the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO). We are in the hurricane season, and we need to be prepared. There are many vulnerable populations in Belize associated with low-lying areas that are prone to flooding, or to hurricane threats. We ensure safe management and safe stay for persons while in shelters. These kits will directly contribute to the area of health and hygiene which is crucial, especially now with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Each emergency health kit contains shampoos, soap detergent, bars of soap, bleach, rolls of toilet paper, sanitizing wipes, liquid hand soaps, dishwashing liquid, bottles of 70% alcohol, packs of sanitary pads, cleaning cloths, adult toothbrushes, children’s toothbrushes, tubes of toothpaste and combs.

During health emergencies and disasters, PAHO/WHO’s objective is to increase the health sector's resilience. The priority is to deliver rapid and comprehensive support in areas of prevention, risk reduction, preparedness, surveillance, response, and early recovery. 

PAHO/WHO handover of family kits