Government to renovate Central Medical Laboratory Print E-mail
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Written by Shane d. Williams   
Thursday, 25 July 2013 00:00

Contract signingOn May 30th, 2006 a small explosion ignited a blaze at the Central Medical Laboratory building in Belize City. Fire fighters responded quickly and managed to save the building but it was severely damaged both by fire and water. The Government of Belize allocated funds to repair the building but it was known that eventually a complete renovation would be necessary. It has been more than seven years since the fire and that is the reason why those who work at the laboratory were ecstatic to learn on Friday, July 19th, that the Ministry of Health had contracted Gutierrez & Associates Architects for the renovation of the middle floor of the Central Medical Laboratory. Dr. Peter Allen, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, signed the contract with Javier Gutierrez, Managing Director of Gutierrez & Associates Architects.

The project is estimated at a total sum of $295,125.56. It includes the renovation of the flooring, exterior walls, interior works, plumbing and electrical work in the Chemistry, Hematology and Serology Units. The store room, administrative office and the office of the Director of Laboratory Services will also be renovated. Dr. Allen says the renovation will also enable the institution to use its viral load machine that was donated a while ago. He says Belize presently sends blood sample abroad to check for viral load in its HIV combat strategy. One such tests cost upwards of US$200. That cost would decrease considerably once the viral load machine is operational and many more samples will be tested. Belize will be in a better position to treat individuals living with HIV by prescribing more specific treatment. The project is expected to be completed early next year. Dr. Allen says the United Nations Development Fund has already approved over $80,000 for the renovation of the first floor of the building.