In continuing with COVID-19 response efforts, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Belize and the National Aids Committee 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 essential items to support the Ministry of Health and the CSO Hub in the ongoing COVID-19 response. One thousand and fifty (1050) Cepheid Gene Xpert SARS-COV-2 tests was handed over to the Ministry of Health and Personal Protective Equipment was handed over to the CSO Hub to support outreach to key populations.
These tests follow an initial donation of One thousand and seventy (1070) tests in June and will support the Ministry of Health’s testing strategy allowing for critically ill suspected COVID-19 cases to be tested with results available in as little as 30 minutes. Both the Central Medical Laboratory and the Western Regional Hospital are equipped with Gene Xpert equipment that is already being used for Tuberculosis diagnosis and monitoring of HIV viral load.
Left to Right: Nyreese Castro (Global Fund Project Manager, UNDP Belize), Aldo Sosa, (Epidemiology Laboratory Supervisor, Central Medical Laboratory) and Juvencio Chan (Acting Director, Central Medical Laboratory)
Personal protective equipment and other medical supplies; including, 6,000 masks, 12,000 gloves, 10 infrared thermometers, 10 sneeze guards and 500 (250 mls) and 60 gallons of hand sanitizer, are being handed over to the coordinators of the CSO Hub, GOJoven Belize (GOBelize), as a mitigation measure on the HIV testing services the organizations provide to key populations. These will be distributed to all CSOs implementing under the project.
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. The value of the tests is approximately US$24,000 or BZ$48,000. Furthermore, salaries for two laboratory technologists have been provided to the Ministry of Health for a period of one year; and 2340 COVID-19 tests and 3000 sample collection kits valued at US$88,000 or BZD $176,000 will be provided this year. The additional funding was secured by UNDP and the National AIDS Commission through the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response Mechanism.
United Nations Development Programme:
Ian King, firstname.lastname@example.org | Deputy Resident Representative
Nyreese Castro, email@example.com | Global Fund Project Manager
National Aids Commission:
Enrique Romero, firstname.lastname@example.org | Executive Director
Ministry of Health:
Dr. Francis Morey, email@example.com | Deputy Director of Health Services
GOJovenBelize Alumni Association (GOBelize):
Eva Burgos, firstname.lastname@example.org | Executive Director