The World Bank on Wednesday approved a $51 million credit to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to modernize its hospital services and build a more resilient and sustainable health infrastructure and system.
The Washington, DC-based financial institution said the modernization includes building a new acute care hospital and health sector reform.
The project will benefit more than 110,900 locals and around 350,000 tourists who visit the island each year, the World Bank said.
He said Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, comprising 32 small islands and cays, is vulnerable to natural disasters and extreme weather events that destroy healthcare infrastructure and service facilities and affect the entire population.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and associated epidemics, such as increased cases of dengue fever, hurricanes and other climatic and natural disasters, are disrupting the healthcare system and worsening economic and social conditions,” the bank said.
He said the project will help the country strengthen the health sector to respond effectively to epidemics, climate change and the effects of natural disasters, and help reduce the growing burden of chronic diseases.
“Through this project, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines will strengthen the adaptive capacity of the health system to create a safe, resilient and transparent environment for sustainable health service delivery and improved hospital performance,” said said the World Bank.
Michele Gragnolati, World Bank Practice Leader for Health, Nutrition and Population for Latin America and the Caribbean, said, “We are delighted to support the people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines with this project which associates essential investments in the infrastructures of the health sector with the reform of the system.
“This project will play a catalytic role in modernizing hospital services for generations to come while leveraging primary care and transforming the healthcare system,” she said. “This investment will provide accessible, high-quality hospital services to the population and reduce the need for costly care abroad.”
Additionally, the World Bank said the new hospital “will incorporate a climate-resilient structure to ensure continuity of operations during climatic events.”
It will also consider measures for lightning strikes, high-speed hurricane winds, and energy and water management, the World Bank said.
He said the hospital’s design also includes energy efficiency measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the standardization of building materials, the use of renewable energy sources and environmental approaches. energy saving for lighting.