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The Bahamas’ Health Care Systems are in the Process of Being Strengthened

The Bahamas’ Health Care Systems are in the Process of Being Strengthened

NASSAU, Bahamas — Minister of Health and Wellness the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville said the lessons learned from Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic underscore the importance of strengthening the resilience of the Bahamas’ health care systems.

“I can safely say that my ministry is actively addressing identified deficiencies in respect of health policy, human resources for health, climate resilient health infrastructure, health research, electronic health records, telemedicine platforms and we are resolute on identifying financing for health system strengthening to mitigate the destructive impacts brought on but climate change.”

Minister Darville was speaking at the Climate Change and the Importance of Disaster and Health Risk Management in The Bahamas Symposium hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) at the Baha Mar Conference Centre, Thursday, January 19, 2023.

He said as the Ministry continues to seek finances for health system strengthening, government would like to thank the IDB for its vision, financial and technical support.

“To date as an executing agency, we are managing $60 million between two strategic loans BH-L1055 and BH-L1053 the later supplemented by grant funding in the amount of $5.4 million from the European Union Caribbean investment facility for infrastructure.”

He noted that under the IDB loan funded programs, the Ministry is in the advanced planning stages for the construction of nine new climate resilient clinics in the Family Islands and the renovations of 17 other clinics as well as the relocation and strengthening of the country’s National Reference Laboratory in New Providence.

Minister Darville said all of these advances require special climate and energy considerations and it is important to note that all of these IDB funded infrastructural projects will achieve EDGE certification, with the minimum standard of 20 per cent improvements in energy, water and building materials.

He also reported that The Bahamas was able to qualify for the EU/CARIFORUM and Global Climate Fund (GCF) Grant funding under projects entitled Developing and Strengthening a Climate Resilient Health System. These ongoing projects will add to the further development of risk assessment protocols, surveillance and early warning systems.

“Therefore, with this IDB health and disaster risk management project, The Bahamas will have the opportunity to increase its capacity to manage disaster and climate risks, pursue additional opportunities for climate resilience and adaptation to climate impacts, develop long-term decarbonization pathways, and ensure a just and inclusive transition toward lowering our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and implementing strategies for climate-resilient development,” Minister Darville said.

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