Canada’s global response to COVID-19 continues in the Caribbean

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NASSAU, Bahamas — In partnership with the Pan-American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the government of Canada has provided support to the government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas for its national response to COVID-19. Canada continues to contribute to efforts in the Caribbean to address the ongoing pandemic by supporting partners on the front lines who are working to prevent, detect and respond to COVID-19.

Through Canada’s contribution, The Bahamas will be receiving a total of CAD$677,000 which includes CAD$643,000 in direct support, and an estimated CAD$34,000 through regional platforms. This will contribute to strengthening The Bahamas’ ability to deal with the pandemic and support frontline workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

PAHO/WHO Representative for the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Dr Esther de Gourville and Honorary Consul of Canada in The Bahamas, Harvey Skolnick, paid a visit to the minister of health, Renward Wells, to hand over a donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) that will be used to protect health care workers who are on the front lines of this pandemic.

The donation includes 464,000 pieces of PPE (face shields, examination gloves, goggles, surgical gowns, medical and surgical masks, and N95 respirator masks) and over 160 pieces of laboratory and scientific equipment.

In addition to donated supplies, funding donated to PAHO by the government of Canada has been used to support the production of several videos for a training course in contact- tracing for technical personnel. Laboratory supplies have also been donated to support COVID-19 testing at the Princess Margaret Hospital.

Speaking on behalf of Non-Resident Canadian High Commissioner Laurie Peters, Skolnick underscored Canada’s support to the region and in particular The Bahamas:

“I am honoured to participate in this symbolic hand-over which further demonstrates Canada’s longstanding partnership and friendship with The Bahamas. It is evident that Canada has moved decisively to help to tackle this pandemic. We trust that these medical supplies will help to bolster the health sector’s response, shorten recovery, and save lives.”

Minister Wells expressed gratitude for the continued cooperation between the ministry of health and PAHO/WHO and offered his deepest appreciation to the government of Canada for their generous support.

Canada has partnered with PAHO to provide protective gear, and life-saving health and medical supplies to scale up the COVID-19 response across the Caribbean region. Dr Esther De Gourville, PAHO/WHO Representative in The Bahamas thanked Canada for the support and continued partnership.

Canada’s contribution comes in response to COVID-19 in the Caribbean, through which Canada allocated US$ 5 million to the Pan-American Health Organization to validate country needs, procure and distribute supplies and protective equipment.

Canada has been answering global and bilateral requests for urgent assistance to fight COVID-19. This includes vaccine development and global health security capacity building. The government of Canada will continue to support a coordinated, global and multilateral response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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