Belmopan, October 1, 2021 – In continuing with COVID-19 response efforts, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Belize Country Office under the framework of the Global Fund project titled “Building Resilience Through Innovation and National Accountability for the HIV and TB Response in Belize” has delivered a Cepheid Gene Xpert Machine to support the Ministry of Health and Wellness in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
During a small ceremony today in Belmopan, the Gene Xpert machine was officially handed over to the Minister of Health and Wellness, Hon. Michel Chebat by Mrs. Denise Antonio, Resident Representative, UNDP in Jamaica, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, The Bahamas, and Turks & Caicos. Mrs. Antonio assured the Ministry of their continued partnership including support from the Global Fund towards the health sector in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19 in Belize. “I extend a special thanks to The Global Fund who for over 10 years has entrusted UNDP as Principal Recipient of their grants in Belize and has invested over $16m to date. Without them most of this would not be possible.”
Minister Chebat expressed appreciation on behalf of the Ministry of Health & Wellness for the donation and partnership. “The fight to defeat COVID-19 will continue to require the collaboration of all our national, regional, and international partners. This occasion today is a manifestation of UNDP’s commitment in helping to create a healthier Belize.”
The donation today represents a total of three Gene Xpert machines of which two are already in use at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and also at Western Regional Hospital. Today’s donation came along with the diagnostic reagents and associated equipment valued at over $20,000. This equipment will support our efforts to further decentralize our analytical capacity to test for SARS-CoV-2, Tuberculosis, Drug Resistant Tuberculosis and Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis, as well as to carry out viral load studies in HIV positive persons.
The Global Fund project is implemented by UNDP on behalf of the National AIDS Commission who serves as the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) of the grant.
To see a video of the handing over ceremony click here https://youtu.be/0MYKQBjOFRM
United Nations Development Programme:
Ian King, email@example.com | Deputy Resident Representative
Amilin Mendez, firstname.lastname@example.org | Global Fund Project Manager
National Aids Commission:
Enrique Romero, email@example.com | Executive Director
Ministry of Health:
Dr. Francis Morey, firstname.lastname@example.org | Deputy Director of Health Services