It’s an all-too-familiar problem on islands like Bequia and Mustique: a pregnant woman goes into labor unexpectedly, and sometimes the only option is to risk danger to herself and her baby by traveling by speedboat to St Vincent.
Now, that era is over, as the newly-reconstructed Bequia Hospital has officially opened its doors.
The upgrade project at the hospital was supported by funding in the amount of $325,800 from the Caribbean Development Bank’s Basic Needs Trust Fund, along with $92,396 from the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The island’s Port Elizabeth Clinic, which is also part of the complex, was also funded under the trust fund and received an upgrade in 2013.
“Better access to health care saves lives, builds communities and strengthens economies,” said Darran Newman, Portfolio Manager for the basic needs trust fund at the Caribbean Development Bank. “Our investment in the Port Elizabeth Health Complex is also—in many ways—an investment in the social and economic development of St Vincent and the Grenadines.”
What it means is that mothers in the northern Grenadines can now deliver their babies at Bequia Hospital, which, prior to the upgrade, was housed in a 50-year-old building that was in a “state of disrepair,” according to the CDB.
The upgraded hospital now has capacity for 16 beds, and enhanced amenities for a range of services.
— By the Caribbean Journal staff