Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Signing of Mental Health and Psychosocial Consultancy Agreement with PAHO


Road traffic injuries have significant negative impacts at all levels as they place significant emotional, psychological and financial burdens on families of crash victims, elevate the number of healthy life-years lost, and loss of productivity and income for victims and their caretakers.
To this end, on April 4th, 2022 an agreement was signed between the Government of Belize and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) for technical cooperation in mental health and psychosocial care supported by the Second Road Safety Project.
A loan received from the Caribbean Development Bank supports interventions to build the country’s road safety management capacity using a multifaceted approach and including the United Nations’ pillars of action for road safety.
The Government of Belize reaffirms its commitment to continue making positive strides in improving road safety in Belize. Currently, the post-crash care system only focuses on the important short-term goal of saving lives, concentrating on physical recovery. Acknowledging the mental health effects on both victims and relatives, PAHO’s technical cooperation will strengthen the capacities of key professionals working in Belize on emergency services and post-crash care by imparting knowledge and skills in psychosocial support. This will be accomplished by means of developing and delivering a four-week national training for four cohorts.
PAHO will work closely with critical stakeholders including the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Ministry of Human Development, Belize Emergency Response Team, Department of Transport, Police Traffic Unit, Municipal Traffic Department, public and private stakeholders, teachers and community members. The approach will also include gender sensitivity focusing on specific risks and vulnerabilities.
The agreement was signed by Dr. Osmond Martinez, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Economic Development, and Dr. Noreen Jack, PAHO/WHO Representative in Belize. On hand to witness the signing were Dr. Javier Zuniga, Director of Policy and Planning Unit in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and Mr. Marconi Leal, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Transport.
Road Safety is everybody’s business. We continue to encourage everyone to promote good road safety behaviour as one life lost is one too many.

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