Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 14, 2021 (SKNIS): In the fight against the deadly COVID-19 virus, globally diplomacy has assisted the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis in securing much-needed resources. On October 13, 2021, Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris accepted the donation of the first of two field hospitals and other equipment (vehicles and computers) from the US Government.
“We are extremely grateful to the USA for their generosity, in its various forms-as we increase national capacity. However, I must focus on the Field Hospitals which are extremely significant donations. I am informed that a field hospital is a temporary hospital where emergency health services can be provided in the short and medium-term to victims injured in epidemics, war and natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and floods. This field hospital will certainly be utilized as the need arises to address any disaster we experience as we exist in a multi-hazard environment. This donation is timely because as everyone is aware we are in the middle of the COVID pandemic and we have adopted a life-first strategy in the fight. We have said that we will do all within our power to prevent our health system from being overwhelmed,” said Prime Minister Harris.
The field hospitals will greatly assist in the fight against COVID-19 by strengthening the health infrastructure already in place. Prime Minister Harris described the 40-bed field hospital as a critical tool, noting that field hospitals have been used around the world in times of crisis over the years and will indeed be a benefit to the Federation.
“It is our hope that the facility will have a positive impact in stemming the spread and managing persons with COVID-19. This field hospital with its additional 40 beds is produced with the highest quality of international standards in mind. We have strengthened our health system today not just by the physical structure of the field hospital, the one here now and the one to be commissioned in Nevis, but also the support and equipment that will make these hospitals run effectively. The field hospital for example is equipped with patient rails, intravenous polls, mattresses, and a power generator. It also has its own plumbing and water treatment system in accordance with the best international standards and practices… Our intentions as a government have always been and will always be that our patients receive the best care in the best facilities,” said Prime Minister Harris.
Prime Minister Harris has previously stated that the United States is a vital ally of St. Kitts and Nevis, with the US government recently donating in the first instance over 11,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to be the Federation. Considerable training has been done in the setting up of the field hospitals through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to ensure that the local agency is well equipped to manage this vital piece of infrastructure.