BELMOPAN, Belize – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, donated medical and personal protective equipment to the Valley of Peace community isolation facility as part of the continued efforts to support the government in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Belize.
With 20 divider panels, 20-bed sheets and covers, 20 pillows and covers, blankets, towels, hand soaps, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies UNHCR hopes to enhance access to health services, ensure essential and medical care for pre-existing conditions and reduce the risk among frontline health workers.
This donation complements an earlier contribution to the community of Valley of Peace of beds and mattresses for the isolation facility as well as equipment for the health centre, delivered in October 2020. “These donations will help the community, as many families live in small houses and are in need of separate isolation centres,” said Dr Candy Azueta, medical officer-in-charge at Valley of Peace Health Centre. “All patients who need treatment at the clinic or isolation facility are welcome.”
The Valley of Peace community has been hosting people forced to flee from their homes since it was founded in 1982, and it is currently a safe haven for close to 300 asylum seekers, which are about 14 percent of the community’s overall population. This donation supports refugees as well as all residents of the host community.
“The fight against COVID-19 is a global one,” said UNHCR’s head of office, Yolanda Zapata, “Everyone must have access to medical care and treatment, especially the most vulnerable, to conquer the battle against the virus.”
During the last quarter of 2020, UNHCR also supported the Western Regional Hospital, the Independence Polyclinic and 100 Community Health Workers in the Cayo District and Independence with PPEs, face shields, KN95 and surgical masks, patient monitors, and other supplies, to improve the first-line health defence for communities hosting refugees.
These healthcare facilities provide medical services to over 60 percent of refugees in Belize. In addition, UNHCR provided COVID-19 field health kits to some 4,800 households in rural areas.
These donations are part of a wider UN Belize joint response by UNHCR, PAHO/WHO, ILO, and UNFPA and were made possible through financing by the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund. These contributions support national efforts to halt the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on human lives and national economies, safeguarding the achievement of the sustainable development goals.