The UK-FCDO along with PAHO/WHO Belize and the Ministry of Health and Wellness conducts final visits to retrofitted smart health facilities

Photo of FCDO and PAHO

Belize City, Belize, April 21, 2023 – As part of the "Smart Health Care Facilities in the Caribbean Project," the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (UK-FCDO), the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MoHW) conduct a final visit to four (4) of the retrofitted smart health facilities.

In 2022, the UK-FCDO (funding partner) and PAHO/WHO (implementing partner) handed over five healthcare facilities to become safer, greener, and more resilient to natural disasters and climate change. While visiting the Cleopatra White Polyclinic, Independence Polyclinic, San Ignacio Community Hospital, and the Palm Center Nursing Home, the team discussed project achievements, evaluation results, and the key details for sustainability.

After a year of the facilities fully functioning with new green and safety measures, the evaluation and sustainability of the facilities proved positive results and feedback. The retrofitted facilities in Belize increase patient and staff safety, improve emergency care and services for the various communities that these facilities serve which are the platform for integrating disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, environmental management and conservation efforts. On November 2, 2022, hurricane Lisa made landfall in Belize, causing extensive damage to the Belize district and significant damage to the Cayo District however the smart health facilities maintained full functionality throughout and after the hurricane.

As part of the safety and maintenance of the retrofitted facilities, 144 signs including fire safety, water saving, backup power, energy savings, rainwater, and solar power were installed at each of the five facilities to raise awareness of the importance of these measures.

The five facilities now known as 'Smart' are Isabel Palma Polyclinic in San Antonio Village, Toledo District, Independence Polyclinic in Independence Village, Stann Creek District, Cleopatra White Polyclinic in Belize City, Belize District, San Ignacio Community Hospital in San Ignacio Town, Cayo District, and Palm View Center in Belmopan, Cayo District.

PAHO/WHO Belize continues to implement projects such as the Smart Health Care Facilities and collaborate with partners like the UK-FCDO to strengthen Belize's health system and improve its healthcare capacity response in emergencies and disasters.