Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 7th, 2023 [Ministry of Health] – Dr. Amilia Del Riego, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, along with her esteemed staff was received by senior Ministry of Health staff on Tuesday, 7thMarch, 2023. Their visit is serving as a crucial step towards strengthening the partnership between the Ministry of Health and PAHO.
During the first day of her visit, Dr. Del Riego presented her credentials to the Prime Minister and Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew, at a brief courtesy call where she had a brief discussion on areas of partnership between her organization and the government of St. Kitts and Nevis. Dr. Del Riego also presented her credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas.
Accompanying Dr. Del Riego on this visit are Mrs. Patrica Cabrejo, Administrator; Dr. Solange Kobi-Jackson, Advisor – Health Across the Life Course; Dr. Guillermo Sandoval, Advisor – Health Economics and Financing and Ms. Anneke Wilson, Country Programme Specialist.
The discussions held during the initial interactions with Ministry of Health officials focused on strategies to improve healthcare services, through enhanced capacity building, and the strengthening of health systems in St. Kitts and Nevis. The Prime Minister and Minister of Health, Dr. Drew expressed his gratitude to Dr. Del Riegio and her team for their commitment to supporting the country’s healthcare system and stated that his government looks forward to working closely with PAHO to implement the strategies discussed during the visit.
Additionally, during their visit, the delegation led by Dr. Amilia Del Riego, PAHO Representative, attended the unveiling ceremony of a plaque at the Joseph N. France General Hospital. The plaque was in recognition of the hospital’s outstanding achievement in the Baby Friendly Initiative, which promotes breastfeeding and optimal infant feeding practices. The hospital’s staff and management were commended for their dedication to improving maternal and child health outcomes in St. Kitts and Nevis, and the delegation expressed their support for continued efforts to promote and protect the health and well-being of mothers and babies in the country.
The delegation ended the first day of their visit with the official handing over of a PCR machine to the laboratory at the Joseph N. France General Hospital. This PCR machine is a valuable addition to the hospital’s laboratory, as it will significantly improve the hospital’s diagnostic capabilities for various infectious diseases, including COVID-19. The delegation also visited the Mental Health Day Treatment Centre and was impressed with the quality of care provided to patients. They commended the staff for their dedication to improving mental health outcomes in St. Kitts and Nevis and pledged continued support for the country’s mental health initiatives.
Dr. Amilia Del Riego and her delegation is scheduled to meet with Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew, the Prime Minister and Minister of Health, on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. The meeting will focus on the Health Systems Agenda, specifically the National Health Insurance Plan and Plans for a new Smart Hospital on St. Kitts. The Ministry of Health and PAHO are committed to working together to ensure the successful implementation of both initiatives, which will significantly improve access to healthcare services for all residents of St. Kitts and Nevis. The government looks forward to continued collaboration with PAHO in its efforts to strengthen the country’s healthcare system and improve the health and well-being of its people.