Minister Bernard Highlights Belize’s Achievements in Health at International Meetings

Minister Bernard Highlights Belize’s Achievements in Health at International Meetings

Minister of Health and Wellness, Kevin Bernard recently returned home after chairing two international health meetings in the United States of America. Bernard and a Belizean delegation attended the 45th Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development and the 60th Direct Council at the 75th Session of the Regional Committee of the World Health Organization for the Americas. Bernard says he and the delegation spent numerous days informing the WHO panel of Belize’s numerous achievements in health. 

Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health and Wellness: “You know when we go out to these events outside it has many purposes. One there was for the first time at the United Nations General Assembly a discussion on health and the necessity to have health involved in these national discussions and so I had to go and represent the country of Belize along with the well the Prime Minister’s delegation and since health was part of the agenda both myself and my CEO had to attend and to drive home our point in terms of what Belize is doing in terms of our health agenda but at the same time in addressing the many ills that are affecting our region especially our region in the CARICOM region and Central American region. Now as well I had several roles to play as you know I am also the chair of CAPRHA and the chair of COSOD which CARPHA is the executive body and COSOD is the Ministers of Health in CARICOM. And so I had to also chair those meetings and so what the 21st indeed I was chairing CARPHA meeting with the technical people and of course the members of the Executive Board that then reports to COSOD who is then the wider body of the Ministers of Health. And then of course we attended the PAHO conference where in that conference Belize makes several interventions on the various issues that are discussed NCDs being one, mental health is another area of concern, universal health coverage, human resources for health. We made interventions ensuring – we also looked at the report of PAHO organization in terms of funding availability in promotion of health across the region and so Belize being a beneficiary of that the pandemic fun. But one big thing that also came out of this we were officially given the certification Belize being Malaria free eliminating Malaria for indigenous cases here in the country.”

Bernard says Belize presented on its remarkable vaccination numbers and other areas where it is making great strides in health care.

Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health and Wellness: “Being one of the only countries in the region that was able to get a high coverage rate of the COVID-19 vaccine so like I said when we go to these events we don’t go there as we will say “basiflap” we go there to work. We go there to ensure that we’re putting Belize on the map of what we’re doing in health but at the same time we go there to build linkages. I mean we met with people from the IDB, we continue to discuss programs with the Global Fund in terms of how Belize can continue to help to reduce HIV and the spread of HIV within our country. We have also as you know Belize will be certified pretty soon but we have gotten the indication that it has been approved that we will also be certified being in terms of the elimination of the mother to child transmission to HIV and Syphilis. So these are major strides that Belize has been doing in just a year we will be getting two certifications. No other country in the region has ever been able to achieve that in just one year. And so it’s a milestone for us and we have to go and highlight these things as well so the world can understand what we are doing in Belize. That’s just in health but there is the wider things that we do across the country and this government has been very much poised and myself as the Minister of Health we are making sure that we could work and push hard so that we could continue to provide quality and equal health for all.”

Bernard also joined the Prime Minister at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly

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