COMFORT Bay Senior Citizens Home will soon be converted to a smart health facility making it “safer” more resilient to natural disasters and “greener” increasing energy efficiency through water harvesting, improved ventilation among other measures.
Safe plus Green equals Smart, this is the concept underlining the Smart Hospital/Healthcare Facilities Project being implemented by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) with funding from theUnited Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) to the tune of EC $5 million.
Comfort Bay Senior Citizens Home was selected as the flagship project for St. Lucia and is expected to be the model for the region. Engineer with the Ministry of Health and Wellness Monty Emmanuel said this is the first of many more projects.
“A lot of hard work went into getting this project on the way there are many more still to come. PAHO has worked tirelessly to get us into Smart mode, to get our facilities more resilient to climate change, disasters and the Ministry of Health is proud of our flagship. We’re hoping that the works go smoothly, the staff has a level of understanding as to what is going on and work to assisting the contractor so we could have a smooth flow of work,” said Emmanuel.
Manager for Comfort Bay, Gertrude Gustave outlined some the deliverables she expects under this project which include more hand rails for the elderly, improved laundry services, water harvesting among others.
“We’re in an area that is very windy close to the sea there is no way we’re going to get any shelter from a hurricane. So I am very thankful for hurricane shutters. Our electrical works is another area that needs a boost and we are thankful for that as well. Our flooring, the tiles are a bit slippery and our staff – a few of them, have taken a fall on it and they will be etching the floor for us and that’s a great work and the staff are happy. The staff has been asking, when is this work going to be done? And I am happy to tell you it’s finally here,” Gustave said.
Rocky Phillips from Lawrence and Associates, the contractors for the project, pledged their commitment to deliver a high quality product.
“I want when this is done. Lawrence and Associates are applauded for their work and the value for money for our client,” he said.
PAHO’s Representative, Shalini Jagnarine explained PAHO’s reasoning for the Smart Hospital/Health Facilities project.
“We inside PAHO we’ve been looking at this for many years. We first started off with safe now with climate change and increasing prices and the need to make ourselves more resilient we added green so that we can now become smart. We had a fabulous team before the Ministry of Equity came on board. We worked very close in hand with the Ministry of Health and we continue to do so because of the other facilities that we’re on. Like Nurse Gustave mentioned, many of the concerns at Comfort Bay safety being paramount for hurricane resilience, earth quake resilience, safety of the staff falling on floors, electrical safety issues, fire safety, water storage capacity just the ability of the facility to remain opened in case there is an event we want to be sure that all of the patients here, all of the residence, the staff are comfortable, that they are happy and they continue to strive for excellence.”
For her part Human Services Director, Elizabeth Lewis express gratitude to PAHO and asked that they continue to keep St. Lucia always in their radar.
Said Lewis, “Again on behalf of the minister and by extension the government and people of St. Lucia I really want to thank DFID and PAHO for this major contribution that they are making towards the development of our people in St. Lucia.”
The contract award ceremony took place at Comfort Bay Senior Citizens Home of 28th February 2018.