The work undertaken to respond to and address the long term effects of the Zika outbreak in Saint Lucia was highlighted as the United States Agency for International Development USAID’s flagship Maternal and Child Survival Programme hosted a dissemination event recently.
The national dissemination event provided Department of Health officials and other local partners with the opportunity to present the work achieved over the past year as it relates to caring for women, new-borns, children and families affected by the Zika virus.
United States Ambassador to Barbados, Eastern Caribbean and OECS Linda Taglialatela celebrated the partnership with the Department of Health and expressed the need to continue the work to minimize the effects of Zika among future generations.
“I would like to underscore that while this work focus was specifically on Zika, the investments made are far reaching and will help to prevent, response and control all the mosquito borne illnesses. Today, due to continued work to curb the spread of the mosquito borne illnesses in several communities, reported Zika cases have decreased in Saint Lucia. The sudden decrease in cases compared to the same period of April 2016 seemingly suggests that things are getting so much better here in Saint Lucia.”
Permanent Secretary in the Department of Health & Wellness Felix St Hill believes the support from this program is very important as it will assist with addressing the gaps in Saint Lucia’s health system.
“This multi-partner flagship programme in support of the US Agency for International Development priority goal of ending preventable child and maternal deaths fits quite nicely with own initiative here in Saint Lucia to develop and further our access to health care for children and women. The need to support countries to increase coverage and utilization of evidence base, high quality productive maternal, new-born and child healthy preventions at the households, community and health facility levels cannot be over emphasized.”
St Hill also called on the partners to remain committed to improving the approach towards health care, particularly the goal of ending preventable child and maternal deaths.