Ministry of Health and Social Development
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Telephone: 1(284)468-2272 or 2174
Anegada residents now have an improved health clinic renovated under the ‘SMART’ initiative to make the facility safe and green.
The SMART project was launched in 2013 by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) with funding from the United Kingdom Agency for International Development (UKAID) to promote smart health care facilities in the Caribbean. Several countries in the region are given support to implement the various interventions.
A release from PAHO/WHO states, “a hospital is considered ‘smart’ when it links structural and operational safety with green interventions, at a reasonable cost-benefit ratio. In smart hospitals, air quality is enhanced, water and energy costs decline, and people’s working conditions improve”.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development received funding in the amount of $15,000 from PAHO in 2015, to assess all of the health facilities in the Territory including the new Peebles Hospital. Following this assessment, the Ministry in collaborated with the Department for Disaster Management, developed a proposal to improve the safety levels at the Anegada Clinic. Funding for these improvements was provided by PAHO Area on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief to the tune of $40,000.
The assessment was carried out by PAHO Principal Consultant, Mr. Ronnie Lettsome and was based on the application of the Hospital Safety Index Tool. The results revealed that the New Peebles Hospital received a score of ‘A’ while the majority of the other facilities required some improvements to elevate them to this level.
Health Disaster Coordinator in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Ronald Georges stated, “We are very much interested in improving the safety levels of our health facilities and with the support of PAHO we secured the funding necessary to apply the safety measures to at least one facility. Anegada Clinic was chosen because it had the greatest potential for reaching a score of ‘A’ in the Hospital Safety Index and also was in an ideal location for greening applications to be applied.”
The project was tendered to local Anegada contractors in 2015 and was awarded to Mr. Damon Wheatley. As part of the ‘smarting’ process, improvements were made to the clinic’s roof, windows, electrical, exterior wall and floor finishing with most of the work being completed by December, 2015.
Dr. Georges said efforts are being made to acquire additional funding to continue improvement works including the rating of the facility. He expressed his gratitude to the persons who were instrumental in ensuring that the works were implemented in accordance with the PAHO standards.
These persons he said included Associate Director of Infrastructure and Building Engineer, Mr. Allan Penn; Mr. Rupert Johnson at Peebles Hospital and Mr. Elnathan White, Fire Officer at the Anegada Fire Station, who were all very supportive in ensuring that the funding was best utilized to address the critical safety issues identified in the report.
The Safe Hospital Programme managed by PAHO has been in place since 2008 and provided the funding that was needed to start the works at the Anegada Clinic. The SMART Concepts are very unique to the region and provide a platform for the safety and greening components and how they can be applied within a health facility.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development will continue to work with PAHO to implement the additional works that are needed to make the facility green and ultimately ‘smart’.