PAHO Donates PPE Kits to the Barbados Defence Force

Since onset of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) Office for Barbados and Eastern Caribbean Countries (ECC) has actively assisted countries to prepare and respond to the virus. PAHO has responded to the needs of countries in many ways, including:

  • Providing COVID-19 test kits and training laboratory staff
  • Conducting COVID-19 briefing sessions for partners and stakeholders
  • Deploying of teams to assist with Infection Prevention Control (IPC) and Health Systems Organization
  • Training in Risk Communication and Clinical Management
  • Providing communications materials including posters and banners
  • Conducting needs assessments and country gab analysis with national authorities

On Wednesday 18 March 2020, this support continued when Dr Yitades Gebre, PAHO/WHO Representative to Barbados and Eastern Caribbean Countries (PWR-ECC), officially presented Colonel Glyne Grannum, Chief of Staff, Barbados Defence Force (BDF), with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits for its Field Medical Facility (FMF).

The presentation of PPE kits was done in an effort to further strengthen linkages between PAHO, BDF and the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MoH) for COVID-19 and other health emergencies that may arise in Barbados and the ECC, since the BDF FMF can deploy as a fixed type 1 Emergency Medical Team (EMT).

The FMF has also been assigned to assist the MoH in being a swabbing centre as part of the COVID-19 Contingency Plan for Barbados.

Dr Gebre welcomed Col Grannum to the presentation ceremony, while acknowledging the long history of PAHO and the BDF working together. He noted it was a honour to provide the Field Medical Facility with the Personal Protective Equipment in relation to COVID-19 disease prevention and protection.

"It is very important to keep health care workers safe"

Dr Gebre expressed the importance of keeping health care workers safe, and in this video clip, he describe the contents of the PPE kits, explaining the effectiveness when used correctly by health care workers...

On behalf of the Government of Barbados, the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the Barbados Defence Force, and other partners in the fight against COVID-19, Col Brannum expressed appreciation for the equipment. He said that the kits will be used not only by the Barbados Defense Force but by inter-agency partners including the Ministry of Health, and Nurses at Ports of Entry and quarantine facilities.

"It is a very timely donation given that yesterday we recorded our first two cases"

In June 2018, a mobile hospital project was launched in Barbados, a joint initiative between PAHO, BDF and the Ministry of Health and Wellness. In this video clip, Col Brannum used the opportunity to reiterate the gratitude to PAHO for technical assistance received, noting that it might become necessary to deploy the mobile hospital in this contingency...

From left Dr Yitades Gebre, PWR-ECC, Col Glyne Grannum, Chief of Staff, Barbados Defense Force, Major Junior Brown, Barbados Defence Force Field Medical Facility Project Coordinator and Retired Colonel Florence Gittens, Special Advisor to the Chief of Staff for the FMF

Following the presentation ceremony, soldiers from the Logistics Unit of the Barbados Defence Force packed the PPE Kits for transport to the Field Medical Facility.