The Government of India has donated pharmaceuticals worth $127,000 to Belize in an effort to help fight covid-19. Among the medication is antibiotics as well as Hydroxychloroquine, which is being looked at in some parts of the world as a possible treatment for the virus. At a brief ceremony this morning in Ladyville, Honorary Consul General of India in Belize, Arun Hotchandani, presented the donation to the Minister of Health, Pablo Marin. Hotchandani stated that they have been working on this initative for several months.
Arun Hotchandani, Honorary Consul General of India in Belize: “This happened sometime in April when the pandemic had hit on a global crisis, when it all became extremely well internationalized that this pandemic is nowhere short of leaving us and the Government of India had at that time was facing their own challenges being the population that we have. So they realized that in every country they have their own issues and especially when it came to the medical field of the matter. So the Government of India decided to get together and the Prime Minister decided to allow some kind of donation and he rounded up the necessary, he got the medical team together, he got the necessary equipment and the medication that he felt could assist countries. We have a great relation with the India SICA, we have a great relationship with CARICOM and also with the South American countries so these are some of the countries that were participating in such a donation. When it comes to the logistics it was a bit difficult as you know the United States they’re challenged to obtain medication themselves we in Belize are also challenged so the Government of India I think they partnered with one or two of the courier services to get the medication out of India I think by air and therefore it arrived here just in time for it to be distributed.”
Minister of Health, Pablo Marin, expressed his gratitude to the Indian community in Belize for their generosity.
Pablo Marin, Minister of Health: “This is just a positive impact to Belize and to show that friendly relationship that we had with India for so many years. This just shows that when you have a big brother they always look at the young one and try to hold their hand and make them walk. So this is something that I think we should really appreciate, we should look at the extent of the help that it will do. A quarter million dollars is being donated by a country is a lot. As you mentioned India is a big country and for them to just say “You know what let’s help our Belizean brothers.” I think that is a big plus for us and definitely we are so happy and we extend the gratitude from the country of Belize to India.”
The medication will be held at the Central Medical Store in Ladyville. Minister Marin showed the media the storage room and explained the process of how the medication is procured by relevant agencies.
Pablo Marin, Minister of Health: “Every supplier in the country they have a virtual warehouse so they win a bid and every time we want something it is being pulled from their warehouse. At the end of the fiscal year which is in March if we haven’t consumed all the medication then they will bring it to the warehouse. Even though in here you will see a lot of things being donated also we have things from UNICEF, thing from PAHO, you saw the Indian supplies that we just received so a lot of those things are there .We have another part that is in the back that is where we house all controlled drugs and drugs that need to be freezed or put in cold area. We also have an area in Belmopan where we store some supplies, every hospital has a two month stock as we speak so all of that is already there.”
Other countries across the world will also be receiving similar donations.