On September 19th, 2021, U.S. Embassy Belmopan joined the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) for the official handover of a U.S.-funded mobile field hospital to the Belizean government. The field hospital donation is another pillar of the United States’ continuing commitment to helping Belize respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and other medical emergencies. On August 18, the United States donated the first tranche of more than 345,000 doses of the anti-COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine.
The hospital is valued at US$1.1 million and is funded through the U.S. Southern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Program. This facility has the capability to accommodate surgical procedures and is equipped with 40 beds, generators, and air-conditioning units. Six SOUTHCOM personnel provided a three-day training session to Ministry of Health and Wellness staff as well as Belize Coast Guard and Belize Defense Forces personnel on how to install, disassemble, and transport the field hospital.
“This state-of-the-art mobile hospital will allow the Ministry to quickly provide emergency medical care whenever and wherever it is needed most. In the face of this global challenge, the United States stands with Belize to prevent the disease, mitigate the pandemic, and care for patients struck by this deadly virus,” emphasized U.S. Embassy Belmopan Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Leyla Moses-Ones.
Minister of Health and Wellness Michel Chebat underscored, “It is by standing in solidarity, united in the fight against this pandemic, that we will be able to overcome.”
The ceremony was also attended by Minister of National Defence and Border Security Florencio Marin Jr. and U.S. Southern Command Deputy Director for the Exercises and Coalition Affairs.
The partnership between US SOUTHCOM and Belize supports disaster response readiness, humanitarian assistance, and countering illicit trafficking. US SOUTHCOM has provided a total of US$3.8 million in assistance to Belize to help mitigate COVID-19. In addition to the hospital, the U.S. Government donated US$50,000 in medical supplies to the Ministry of Health and Wellness through the Humanitarian Assistance Program.
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