Caye Caulker gets new health facility

Caye Caulker gets new health facility

Caye Caulker Village has now gotten a new health centre. The community, with an estimated population of about 5,000 residents, have waited for about five years for this facility to come to fruition. Dale McDougall reports. 

Dale McDougall, Love News: Residents of the fast-growing Caye Caulker community have a new health center. The facility was officially declared open on Monday and according to Minister of Health and Wellness, Kevin Bernard, this facility was a long time coming.

Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health & Wellness: “Having trained medical personnel is not enough to provide quality health services. Equally important is having a good infrastructure with adequate examination and observation rooms. Having the right equipment and also medications. The building has as already been highlighted is also built with a flat roof for future expansion.”

Dale McDougall, Love News: Minister of the Blue Economy and Belize Rural South areaSandra McKay, Managing Director, Goshen Orchids:  representative, Abner Andre Perez added that the facility is a welcome addition to the community even as it battles the impacts of climate change. 

Abner André Perez, Minister of the Blue Economy & Area Rep., Belize Rural South: “This building is a symbol of how when a government and community and everybody gets together and gets things done the right way. It’s not here for heights just because of just for heights there’s a reason behind this for storms and for this building to last for decades. And that of course it is planned for the expansion of the structure. So when there’s proper planning this is what we’re seeing here and rightful as our CEO mentioned is that this is a shelter for hurricanes.”

Dale McDougall, Love News:  This facility came through the partnership of the Social Investment Fund. CEO Narda Garcia, who chairs the SIF Board, explains that this is just another example of the government putting people first. 

Narda Garcia, CEO, Office of the Prime Minister & Chair, SIF Belize: “This facility is equipped with spacious consultation and waiting rooms as well as spaces for triage, observation and a staff lounge and bathrooms for staff and patients. It would be remiss of me if I did not highlight the fact that when our government engages in the improvement of healthcare access in Belize we are also fulfilling our commitments towards the sustainable development goals under the United Nations which are aimed at improving the quality of life of every citizen. 

Dale McDougall, Love News: The new facility, which comes with a $1.4 million price tag, is seen as an investment. According to Melinda Guerra, who leads the health ministry’s central region, the new centre will respond to the needs of residents and visitors alike.

Melinda Guerra, Ministry of Health Central Region: “The dream has come to it’s fullest culmination after six years of hard work, determination, perseverance, and focus on achieving the construction of this health care facility. It has taken community support, support from the village council, government, donors and stakeholders to get where we are today. This new health center will contribute to the health needs of the community of Caye Caulker, it’s visitors and the country at large with an improved primary healthcare facility. The objective of all partners is to have a facility that will serve and contribute to the quality of healthcare services here on the island of Caye Caulker.”

Dale McDougall, Love News:  The village’s chairperson, Seleny Pott, believes this is a welcome addition to the community after years of lobbying and laying the groundwork. 

Seleny Villanueva-Pott, Chairlady, Caye Caulker Village: “Today a few months later we reconvene but with gracious hearts and thankful words as this project is a dream come true for Caye Caulker. Since 2017 we have been working as a community along side SIF to gather all the necessary data to make this a reality. Today we can say six years later all our hard work and collaborative efforts have paid off. Caye Caulker can now say that in the very near future we will be able to provide better healthcare service with adequate space, equipment and staffing to not only Caye Caulker but our visitors as well.”

Dale McDougall, Love News.

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