Phase II of the SMART Health Care Facilities in the Caribbean Project officially commenced on June 10, 2015 and will be implemented in four selected countries, namely Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica over a three-year period, effective June 2015 to June 2018.
The project is being financial supported by the United Kingdom’s Department for International development (DFID) in the amount of US $12.6 million and implemented through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief Department in partnership with the Ministry of Health in each target country.
An overview of the
project components was presented at a meeting of Chief Medical Officers held in
Barbados on April 30, where all OECS Member States were represented.
Representative Dr. Godfrey Xuereb said, “The aim of the project is to support
the Governments of the selected Caribbean countries to assess and prioritize
vulnerability reduction investments in their health facilities. The support provided by DFID will allow us to
ensure that critical health facilities in the Caribbean are safe and are
incorporating green practices that will allow them to adapt to the effects of
climate change, already evident in the Region”
Through the project
interventions, all health facilities of project countries will be assessed for
disaster safety, water and energy improvements and will be provided with a
road-map for risk reduction investment.
The results of the assessment will be incorporated into the national
risk exposure database of each country.
At least 12 health
facilities, three in each of the selected countries, will be retrofitted to
help reduce the down time and potential damage to the facility in the event of
a disaster. It will also reduce
operational expenditure with water and energy management improvements and
ensure energy and water security to support continuous healthcare delivery in
the event of a major disaster.
Phase I of the Smart
Health Care Facilities Project in the Caribbean, also funded by DFID, piloted and
tested the initiative at the Georgetown Hospital in St. Vincent and the
Grenadines and the Pogson Hospital in St. Kitts and Nevis with good results. The pilot included development of a toolkit
for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building
design, operations and maintenance solutions applicable to the Caribbean
region. The toolkit has a step by step
guide and includes the Hospital Safety Index (HSI), Baseline Assessment Tool
(BAT), checklists and cost-benefit analysis approaches to support decision
making and promote smarter investment in action to manage the risks faced.
The project will
benefit from PAHO’s high level institutional connections with national,
sub-regional and global entities to ensure alignment with national priorities, Caribbean
Community (CARICOM) action plans, the Caribbean Cooperation for Health (CCH
III), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Comprehensive
Disaster Management Strategy and Programming Framework and with the World
Health Organization (WHO) Safe Hospitals initiative.