CDC receives US$1.1M field health facility to boost disaster response

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A mobile, multi-purpose shelter was handed over to the CDC through the United States Southern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Programme

The capabilities of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) to plan for, mitigate and respond to natural disasters were significantly boosted on Thursday, with the donation of a US$1.1 million mobile multi-purpose shelter to conduct emergency operations, and care for patients affected by disasters.

The facility was presented through the United States Southern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Programme, in collaboration with Deployed Logix, a rapid deployment product manufacturer.

Prime Minister and Acting President, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, pointed to the benefit of the facility in enhancing the CDC’s disaster preparedness and response capacity.

He noted that the mobile modality of the shelter will allow for increased medical assistance to be given in far flung regions of the country

“I envisage the Civil Defence Commission working with the Ministry of Health, utilising this facility to bring humanitarian assistance especially to those far-flung areas of Guyana. We can deploy this facility in areas that don’t have hospitals for a period of time, and then we can treat a number of people,” the PM told the gathering during a simple ceremony held at Base Camp Ayanganna activities field, Georgetown.

The facility which has a patient capacity of 40, can function as a command post, and sleep/housing unit, among other uses. It can be equipped with generators to provide self-sustaining power for surgeries and other emergency room procedures that facilitate effective patient care and operational planning.

As Guyana works to build a comprehensive disaster management framework, aligned with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) strategy, this facility will help to implement this vision.

“This facility will help us to greatly advance in our implementation of comprehensive disaster management in Guyana, making us more effective, and more able to bring relief to the people, and in bringing relief to the people, the CDEMA strategy entails a lot of pre-disaster training, risk assessment, relief during the disaster, and afterwards recovery and mitigation,” he added.

The facility has the capacity to house up to 40 patients

Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Guyana, Nicole Theriot, described the facility as a tangible representation of the larger commitment between the United States and Guyana to continued collaboration and support.

“As Guyana works to improve its emergency disaster response in the near-and long-term, the United States government is committed to supporting the people of Guyana and to strengthening our incredible partnership. Together, the United States and the Government of Guyana can uphold our commitment to bettering the lives of the people of Guyana,” she pledged.

Following the ceremony, the Prime Minister, Ambassador and other attendees had the opportunity to witness an incident simulation.

Cooperation as it relates to disaster response between the US and Guyana has seen the implementation of a number of projects, including Tradewinds 2023, which saw more than 1,000 troops involved in an oil spill response exercise led by the CDC, to expand the region’s capability to mitigate, plan for, and respond to crises. This exercise concluded earlier this year.