Dominica’s Health Systems Transformation

The term “building back better” is a common phrase on the island of Dominica. Unfortunately, like many of its Eastern Caribbean neighbors, the island has felt the wrath of one too many hurricanes, with Hurricane ‘Maria’ in 2017 practically devastating the island leaving its people and environment in shambles. This lush and beautiful island - just 290 square miles with a population of under 74,000 - has managed to always “build back better.

The Commonwealth of Dominica is revered not only for its eco-tourism but also for the warm and friendly disposition of its people. Historically its primary health care system, grounded strongly in the primary health care approach, was known as one of the best in the Caribbean; however continuous hurricane damage coupled with an economic decline presented major challenges for the health system to respond to the growing needs of the population.  With the support of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dominica successfully pivoted, transforming these challenges into tools and opportunities for growth and development, paving the way for a Health Systems Transformation towards achieving Universal Health.