20 remote villages in Toledo receive better medical health care services

Three satellite health centers that will provide quality medical care to over 7,000 persons in 20 remote villages in the Toledo District were inaugurated between Friday August 13 and Saturday August 14. The Social Investment Fund, partnering with the Ministry of Health, first inaugurated the Santa Theresa Health Centre on Friday afternoon. Inauguration ceremonies were also held on Saturday, 14 August for the Pueblo Viejo and the San Pedro Colombia Health Centres respectively.
The Ministry of Health has ensured that the new health centers will be permanently staffed with a doctor and a nurse/midwife who will provide all pre and post natal care plus general medicine. In addition, the clinics will provide specialist checks by a visiting obstetrician/gynecologist, including mobile ultrasound services. The upgrading of the three health centres was implemented by the Social Investment Fund (SIF), a statutory body under the Ministry of Economic Development, with support from the Ministry of Health. The total cost of the project is estimated at Bz$442,000 and was financed by the Government of Belize through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

The project consisted of the conversion of the existing health centres in the respective villages into new satellite health centres. Repair works was done on a nurse/examination room, pharmacy, dressing room, waiting area, a bathroom and construction of a new extension which houses a delivery room, doctor’s examination office, and staff and public bathrooms. The project also allowed for the provision of furniture and filing cabinets, the installation of electrical, lighting and plumbing fixtures, water supply with elevated water storage tank, and a standard septic tank with soak-away waste water system. Complete fencing with 6 ft. chain link fencing, block wall foundation, and vehicular and pedestrian gates was also included.

Santa Theresa Village is located 33 miles West of Punta Gorda Town. The new health centre in the village will also serve the villages of Jordan, Mabilha, San Lucas, Corazon Creek, Otoxha, Dolores and Hicatee.

Pueblo Viejo Village is situated 31 miles West North West of Punta Gorda. For many years this community was inaccessible until 1996 when the Southern Highway was opened making access to Punta Gorda easier. The health centre in the community will also serve the villages of Jalacte, Santa Cruz, San Jose, San Vicente, Santa Elena, Na Lum Caa and Crique Jute. Meanwhile, in San Pedro Colombia, the clinic will also serve as satellite health centers for the villages of Silver Creek, San Miguel, Mafredi and Blue Creek.

The keynote address at the inauguration of all three health centers was given by Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health who emphasized government’s commitment to make healthcare accessible for all. Other speakers included Hon. Juan Coy, Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Development and Social Transformation and Toledo West Area Representative, representatives of the Social Investment Fund as well as Chairmen and Alcaldes of the respective villages.

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