DOMINICA has received a mobile medical unit from Sagicor Life to help with the “immediate needs of the people” following the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in September 2017.
The fully customised unit was presented to the government of Dominica during a small handover ceremony at Windsor Park stadium in Roseau on February 16.
Sagicor Life purchased the unit in collaboration with Doctors In Our Circle, Ray Asta, Ministry of Health and Friends of Sagicor.
Sagicor donated US$100,000 to the unit’s purchase.
Sagicor Life said “the extensive outfitting” of the unit ensured that it has a wide range of facilities including but not limited to two examination rooms with beds, fuel and water tanks, a generator, refrigeration unit and medicine storage as well as a wheelchair lift.
Speaking at the function, Director of Medical Services at Dominica’s Health Ministry, Dr Laura Espirit, said the services which the unit will provide “include comprehensive medical screening, cancer screening, specialist clinics, HIV and immunisation testing.”
The mobile medical unit will also be used as part of a “general response to medical crises during disasters, disease outbreaks and other activities of national importance.”
Sagicor Financial Corporation chairman, Stephen McNamara, spoke about the journey from outfitting to delivery.
“(The unit) was outfitted and branded in Ohio, driven down to the Miami port, moved onto a barge which first went to Jamaica and, a few stops later, drove off the port of Roseau.”
McNamara also shared that Sagicor Life and Sagicor General – both regional companies present in Dominica since 1968 – had immediately mobilised their entire network of 4,172 Sagicorians across the various territories, following Hurricane Maria.
“The Sagicor Group also established a hurricane relief fund of over EC$500,000, from which support was provided with the regional airline LIAT to airlift persons to other Caribbean islands. Additionally, across the Sagicor network, we collected and shipped necessities ranging from food and water supplies to generators and made cash donations.”
“The same was done,” McNamara added, “by providing assistance through Antigua and St Kitts and Nevis to our other Caribbean brothers and sisters in Barbuda, Anguilla and St. Martin where we operate as well.”
Dominica’s Health Minister Kenneth Darroux thanked Sagicor, Doctors in Our Circle and the other donors for their “generous” assistance.
He said the unit will support the medical needs of the island, particularly as Dominica is currently conducting a review of the Scope of Works of the National Hospital prior to beginning construction later this year.