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June 13, 2014
Newly renovated Paediatric Ward at MCMH opens

Parents in St Vincent and the Grenadines can rest more easily knowing that if their children fall ill, they will be well accommodated in the newly renovated facilities of the paediatric ward.

On Monday, even though it was a public holiday, many persons gathered on the grounds of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) to witness the official opening of the refurbished paediatric ward.{{more}}

The multi-phased renovation project was carried out through the collaborative effort of the Mustique Charitable Trust, the World Paediatric Project (WPP) and the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

In his remarks, Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment Clayton Burgin said that the renovation project is part of the overall redevelopment of the general hospital.

He added that the refurbished paediatric ward will serve to “provide a more caring and healing environment for the nation’s paediatric patients and their families.”

According to Burgin, the EC$1.2 million project has provided an additional 11 paediatric beds for the children, increasing the ward’s capacity from 25 to 36.

Furthermore, there is a separate neonatal intensive care unit, which is located at the back of the ward through secure double doors. There is also a six-bed critical care unit, which includes bed facilities for burn patients.

The renovated ward also contains separate bathroom facilities for male and female patients, a staff bathroom and storage facilities, office facilities for medical practitioners and a larger dining area to accommodate relatives. Additional lighting, fans, a suspended ceiling and new furnishings are also included in the upgrade.

“Surely all of this is a demonstration of the development and expansion of our paediatric services within the national health sector and we are witnessing the continued advancement of our paediatric services under the leadership of the World Paediatric Project,” the health minister said.

While delivering the keynote addresss, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves praised the WPP for being Good Samaritans.

He revealed that through the WPP, 677 surgeries have been carried out in St Vincent and the Grenadines through 63 volunteer teams. He explained that in order for the country to provide high levels of health care to its citizens, alliances with various organizations must be made.

“We have a sound primary health care system. We have a reasonably sound secondary health care system. We have weaknesses and gaps and in relation to tertiary health care system and some areas of the secondary health care system, we make alliances with countries and groups,” he said.

Gonsalves highlighted that in St Vincent and the Grenadines, deaths in children between the ages of one and 14 is between one and two per cent.

He also noted that the number of children who fall ill in this country has decreased over the years and that one of the main focuses of the Government is to ensure that citizens are not only healthy but that they remain that way.

In the Caribbean, the WPP has made the MCMH a hub, to which persons from across the region come to benefit from the programme.

President of the WPP Susan Rickman thanked the Government for opening their doors to the programme and allowing them to improve the paediatric ward, with the help of persons in Mustique and the Mustique Charitable Trust.

“What we are doing today is both historical and heart lifting. Cutting the ribbon on a totally new renovated and equipped pediatric ward proves that when good people get together incredible things happen,” Rickman said.(BK)