Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 24, 2021 (SKNIS): Minister of Health, the Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett, expressed profound thanks to St. Kitts and Nevis Red Cross Society (SKNRCS), who has partnered with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for delivering a brand new ambulance to the Ministry of Health on February 24, 2021, at the JNF General Hospital grounds.
“On behalf of the Ministry of Health, and the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, I wish to extend my sincere thanks to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for this significant donation,” she said, speaking at the handing over ceremony on February 24, 2021. “I also wish at this juncture to convey our profound gratitude to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and to Mr. Hester Rawlins and his executive of St. Kitts and Nevis Red Cross Society (SKNRCS) for such humanitarian foresight.”
She added that their strong collaborative technical support and the overall vital role they played from the conceptualization of the gift, the engaged enthusiastic discussions, and the persevering actions and engagement with the key stakeholders brought the project to fruition. “We are so very grateful for your commitment,” she said.
Minister Byron-Nisbett noted that the receipt of the ambulance is timely and important to and for the Ministry of Health as it will help the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Such an addition to the existing fleet of ambulances ensures that there is an adequate first respondent mechanism to respond to medical emergencies nationwide,” she said. “In fact, having a large number of EMTs is simply not enough. There must also be the required vehicular capacity to respond in a timely manner.”
With the addition of the new ambulance, the health system will be better able to have an ambulance stationed at the two main satellite institutions, the Mary Charles Hospital and the Pogson Medical Centre, said the minister.
Minister Byron-Nisbett stated that these ambulances are well equipped and can safely and properly transport to and between hospitals.
She emphasized the importance of the buildout of ambulances to the rural areas as persons would no longer have to wait on an ambulance to be deployed from the Joseph N. France General Hospital in Basseterre or the Pogson Medical Centre in Sandy Point.
“Hence, this is indeed exciting, and this gesture is such a very good way to commence the year, building our health capacity during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” she said.
According to Hester Rawlins, Director General of the SKNRCS, who also spoke at the handing over ceremony, the donation was made possible through the generous funding of the American people through USAID.
“This fully equipped ambulance was donated as a part of the COVID-19 response project, partially funded by the Government of the United States of America,” he said. “A similar donation of a passenger bus has been gifted to our National Society as we endeavour to assist the most vulnerable members of our communities while we strengthen our axillary role to government during these trying times.”
Also, at today’s ceremony, USAID gifted a brand new passenger bus to the SKNRCS.