$600,000 donation from Project C.U.R.E. to KHMH Print E-mail
( 7 Votes )
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 29 May 2009 14:49

Kim Simplis-Barrow and Dr. Gary LonsgworthFirst Lady of Belize Kim Simplis-Barrow handed over 600 thousand dollars worth of medical equipment to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s management on Tuesday May 26, 2009.


Simplis-Barrow says that the donation came after she approached Project C.U.R.E. with a list of needs from the KHMH. Being a member of the International First Ladies’ Club, last year she attended a luncheon during which she approached Project C.U.R.E. which is the world’s largest donor of medical equipment. The total donation adds up to a handsome two million dollar figure with the first donation of a 40 foot container coming to the KHMH.


CEO at the KHMH Dr. Gary Longsworth explains that the bulk of the donation which includes a laparoscopic equipment and supplies which includes camera/video for all scopes. Also included in the donation are central percutaneous lines, casting supplies, stockinettes, web rolls, plaster, fiberglass, cast shoes, neurosurgery packs and supplies, and surgical power drills just to name a few. Dr. Longsworth says that the donation is a "veritable gold mine" which will be properly inventoried and taken care of. While the KHMH will receive the bulk of the equipment, some of it will be going to the Central, Western and Southern Regional hospitals. There are at least two other shipments which are expected to arrive in the country later this year.


In speaking with the Guardian, Dr. Longsworth explains that the equipment forms part of a wish list prepared by the KHMH and the donation addresses quite a number of the items requested. He expressed his gratitude to the first lady Kim Simplis-Barrow and to Project C.U.R.E. for the donation. He says that there are other organizations like the Rotary Club’s Sunrise and the International Children’s Hospital who have offered to assist the healthcare system in Belize and serious considerations are being made on the offers.

World Metrology Day 2009 Print E-mail
( 6 Votes )
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 22 May 2009 14:19

To commemorate the contributions of Metrology to trade, the Belize Bureau of Standards held an Open Day on Wednesday, May 20, at the Governor General Field in the capital City of Belmopan as part of the World Metrology Day.

According to the 2009 World Metrology Day Team, Metrology derives from the Metre Convention. The Metre Convention (Convention du Mètre) is a treaty that provides the basis for the international agreement on units of measurement. On May 20, 1875 representatives of seventeen (17) states signed the convention in Paris. Today, fifty-two (52) States adhere to the treaty and many others enjoy its benefits.

World Metrology Day (WMD) commemorates the signing of the treaty and it is a day when all the countries in the world that enjoy the benefits of a single, coherent system of measurements - traceable to the International System of Units (SI) - celebrate the scientific, technological, and economic achievements that this treaty has enabled for more than a century.

The WMD project is an effort to promote the benefits of metrology to society.

US$3 million IFAD loan to Rural Finance Programme in Belize Print E-mail
( 6 Votes )
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 22 May 2009 14:13

Rome, 19 May 2009 – Efforts by poor rural people in Belize to lift themselves out of poverty are being bolstered by a US$3 million loan from IFAD to Belize, for a Rural Finance Programme, which will help poor people realize their economic potential.

The loan agreement was signed today in Rome by Audrey Joy Grant, Ambassador of Belize in Brussels and Jessie Mabutas, IFAD Assistant President.

Lack of access to credit and other financial services (savings, insurance, remittances) has hampered economic growth in Belize and there is untapped economic potential among the rural population.

The Rural Finance Programme will build on the experience of the credit union movement and on IFAD’s previous operation in southern Belize, scaling up nationwide. It is a stand-alone rural finance operation, as opposed to one component of an integrated development project.

Participating credit unions will receive a tailored capacity-building package to help them expand and diversify their financial services and to adapt them to the needs of the target population. In addition, eligible credit unions will be able to access credit in order to leverage their lending capacity and reach those poor rural people who have not received their services.

The expansion of rural financial services for smallholder farmers and other rural groups is a critical means to catalyse rural development in Belize, complementing government and other international agencies initiatives.

The programme will target 11,500 poor rural households nationwide, including many women and young people who are small scale farmers, subsistence fishers, craft workers, and members of indigenous communities. More than 15,000 poor and extremely poor rural people are expected to benefit directly.

To date, IFAD has funded two projects in Belize for a total of about US$4 million.

(Press Release)

U.S. Military Delivers Protective Kits for H1N1 First Responders in Belize Print E-mail
( 6 Votes )
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 22 May 2009 14:12

May 14, 2009

On May 9, the U.S. Southern Command delivered 5,100 personal protective equipment kits to the Ministry of Health in response to the recent outbreak of the H1N1 virus in Mexico. 

With the threat of the Influenza A-H1N1 virus raising concerns in the region, the United States worked in consultation with local government officials to identify countries in need of pandemic influenza preparedness supplies.  U.S. Southern Command, headquartered in Miami, directed the Air Force mission as a critical component of the U.S. Government's international pandemic influenza preparedness efforts.

These kits will be delivered to first responders in Belize for inspection of individuals who display flu-like symptoms.  Each personal protection kit includes disposable respirators capable of screening 95 percent of particles as small as 0.3 microns; safety goggles; disposable overalls, gloves, shoe covers, and aprons; as well as infectious waste bags with biohazard symbols.

The U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster delivered 30,000 kits to six Central American and Caribbean countries including Belize. 

Unicomer (Belize) Signs HIV/AIDS Workplace Policy Print E-mail
( 6 Votes )
Written by Shane D. Williams   
Friday, 22 May 2009 14:00


Unicomer HIV/AIDS Committee


On Wednesday, May 20, 2009 Unicomer (Belize) Limited became the fourteenth private firm to develop and sign an HIV/AIDS workplace policy in the last month. The policy was developed after employees of Unicomer took part in a program held by the Labour Department.

Though the government has instituted several initiatives in the public sector to eliminate discrimination in the workplace, the private sector had been behind in these policies. Therefore, the Labour Department developed a 3-part program to draw the private sector to the table. Ms. Hertha Gentle, Senior Labour Officer, is the Program Coordinator. She said, "The first step was to recruit companies that were interested in developing HIV awareness in their work place. Then those companies appointed individuals to take part in focal point training." Focal point training is a technique used to execute a large education program. It is whereby individuals are informed and trained by experts and in turn these individuals teach and train a group of their peers. In this case, the focal point was based on the basic principles of HIV/AIDS, policy development and implementation of workplace policies.

The Focal Point for Unicomer (Belize) Limited is Gina Gainford. She explains that it was not difficult to get the over 200 employees to sign on to the policy. She adds, "It was actually pretty easy. Everyone wanted to be more educated on HIV/AIDS because it is such a huge problem in society." Keith Slater, Managing Director of Unicomer Belize, said, "The policy is just the first step. Our peer educators will work tirelessly to provide the staff with the right information in order to clear up the misconceptions." Many individuals infected with HIV have stated that the difficult part is not the fact that they will probably die from the disease; it is the fact that they have to live with it. They are constantly reminded of their terminal illness every time colleagues, in their ignorance, are afraid to work with them because of their HIV status.

Education was the main goal of the program launched by the Labour Department. Knowing that ignorance is a weapon of choice for discrimination, the Labour Department chose the final part of their program to be a two-day Peer Education training session held on May 5 and 6, 2009. The session was hosted by the Labour Department in collaboration with the National AIDS Commission. There were 14 private companies represented at that session. All fourteen have now developed and signed their workplace policy and Hertha Gentle hopes to recruit another fourteen companies to take part in the program by the end of August.

The opening statement for the Unicomer (Belize) HIV/AIDS Workplace Policy reads: "The Management of Unicomer (Belize) Limited recognizes the seriousness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and its impact on the workplace. The organization supports national efforts to reduce the spread of the infection and minimize the impact of the disease."

Last Updated on Monday, 15 June 2009 12:33

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