At PAHO Meeting, Minister Of Health Expresses Gratitude To Those Who Have Helped The Federation During The Covid-19 Pandemic

Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 02, 2020 (SKNIS): On September 28th and 29th, Minister of Health, the Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett headed a delegation at the 58th Directing Council/167th Session of the Executive Committee of PAHO, where she thanked those countries that have helped St. Kitts and Nevis in its COVID-19 response thus far.

The delegation included Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Hazel Laws, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Delores Stapleton Harris, Honourable Hazel Brandy-Williams, Jr. Minister of Health, Nevis, Shelisa Martin Clarke, Permanent Secretary of Health, Nevis, and Sylvester Belle, Health Planner, St. Kitts.

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In her remarks, the Minister of Health stated that during the fight against COVID-19, St. Kitts and Nevis has benefited tremendously from its bilateral and multilateral relationships.

“I express gratitude to the United Nations, the WHO and PAHO for their steadfast partnership in making equipment, resources and technical advice available to our region,” she said. “Mr. President, I also record our gratitude to the Republic of China (Taiwan) for its strong friendship to the people of St Kitts and Nevis. The Taiwan Model has been the most successful global example in the fight against Covid-19.

Minister Byron-Nisbett noted that the ROC (Taiwan) can help and it has been helping through technical expertise and the provision of PPE, testing equipment, medical supplies, ventilators and much needed masks.

She also expressed gratitude to the United States of America which has “provided tremendous support during this difficult period including furnishing ventilators to the Government and people of St Kitts and Nevis.”

“Interestingly, those ventilators had critical components manufactured right here in St Kitts,” she said.

The Health Minister likewise expressed gratitude to the Government and people of the Republic of Cuba.

“Cuba has been a faithful friend to St Kitts and Nevis and the wider Caribbean region,” she said. “In response to this global pandemic and despite its own well-known difficulties, Cuba responded by sending a cohort of specialist doctors and nurses to assist St. Kitts and Nevis in its valiant fight against Covid-19.”

She noted that presently there is a contingent of thirty- four (34) Health Care professionals from the Cuban Medical Brigade in the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis assisting with the COVID-19 Response.

“The team comprises 30 nurses and four specialist doctors trained in intensive care, anaesthesiology and epidemiology and have contributed to the increased human resource capacity in the Federation,” said the minister. “Mr. President, this great humanitarian gesture by Cuba was replicated by them throughout the entire Caribbean region, parts of Latin America and even in Europe when Italy faced the height of this crisis. St Kitts and Nevis thanks Cuba for its tremendous support in this season of grave difficulty.”

With regards to opening the Federation’s borders on October 31, Minister Byron-Nisbett said there is expected to be an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.

“In order to re-open our borders effectively, the Federation must demonstrate that it has sufficient
health system and public health capacities to do so,” she said. “The Cuban health personnel is helping in this regard.”

St. Kitts and Nevis has expressed its profound gratitude to all its partners as it continues to fight the pandemic, said Minister of Health, the Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett.

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