Belize City, Belize, (PAHO) – Although Belize’s land borders remain closed, it is key for the country’s points of entry to be prepared to prevent, control and provide proper public health response for when the land borders reopen. Through funding from the government of Canada, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) donated computer equipment with supplies to strengthen national public surveillance capacity at the Western and Northern land borders of Belize.
“This is part of an overall grant from the government of Canada to PAHO/WHO aimed at supporting countries in the Americas to effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr Noreen Jack, PAHO/WHO Representative of Belize. “Ground crossings such as Belize’s land borders play an important role in controlling public health risks such as the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Cross-border movement not only affects travelers but also affects communities of people living and working around these border areas. Without the proper equipment to implement health measures such as planning and surveillance and risk monitoring, the ability to efficiently prevent, detect, and respond to health risks and emergencies at land borders may be difficult to achieve.
“The COVID-19 pandemic knows no borders and strategic alliances are key to fight this global pandemic,” said High Commissioner of Canada to Belize H.E. Rita Rudaitis-Renaud. “That is why I am pleased that this support of the government of Canada will contribute to meet the ongoing health sector needs in Belize. Canada will continue to support and build on the Health Sector Resilience project in the Caribbean.”
To enhance these public health measures and assist in ensuring land borders are prepared for current and future health risks, the donated equipment included:
- 4 Dell Latitude 5400 Notebooks
- 2 HP LaserJet Pro Printers
- 2 HP Black LaserJet Toner Cartridges
- 4 Dell Essential Backups
- 4 Dell OptiPlex Desktops
- 8 Logitech wireless mouses
- 10 SaniTec Hand Sanitizer Dispensers Floor Stands
“The government of Belize and the ministry of health and wellness are grateful to the government of Canada; the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) for the donations of computer and related devices that will contribute to further strengthen the national surveillance at the Western and Northern land borders of Belize,” said chief executive officer of the ministry of health and wellness, Dr Deysi Mendez. “This timely donation strengthens our goal of safeguarding the health and wellbeing of the people and allows us to prepare for any future health threats as we strategically plan to reopen the land borders.”
Along with this donation, PAHO/WHO also handed over 70,000 surgical masks and 10,000 KN95 masks to the ministry of health and wellness to support the national COVID-19 vaccine deployment.