The Ministry of Health has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with non-profit organization Americares for healthcare support on New Providence and Abaco, Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands announced yesterday.
The MOU was signed this month and will last for three months, running through March; however, Americares officials said yesterday that the organization hopes to extend the agreement to the end of June should the Ministry of Health consent.
“This MOU will facilitate critical primary health, mental health, psychosocial support services, with a social worker and clinical psychologist, as well as training to strengthen the capacity of the Bahamian healthcare system, specifically through the Ministry of Health, with first responders and other stakeholders to aid recovery from Hurricane Dorian,” Sands said during a press conference.
“Americares has also agreed to provide medicine and to collect data to assist the Ministry of Health to track diseases, referrals in health service utilizations during recovery and also for joint efforts on public relations and communications.
“This MOU further fosters a collaborative partnership and allows for Americares to expand its clinical services for Hurricane Dorian survivors in New Providence. Moreover, Americares will continue to provide health and mental health, and psychological services, in Abaco.”
Americares Team Leader Cora Nally, who was also on hand during the press conference, added that the organization would also be expanding the services it currently offers on Abaco.
“As the minister stated, Americares is continuing to provide services in Marsh Harbour, on Elbow Cay and Man-O-War Cay,” Nally said.
“We’re expanding our services now to include Fox Town, Coopers Town, Guana Cay and Great Turtle Cay.
“Americares has also delivered medicine, medical supplies and relief items valued at more than $2.6 million to support the health needs of survivors. Americares is proud to continue working alongside the Ministry of Health as we begin the recovery.
“As survivors begin returning to their communities in Abaco, together we want to ensure the availability of critical primary care and mental health services.”
She added, “More help is needed, and with your continued support, Americares will continue to serve the survivors of Hurricane Dorian.”
Sands noted yesterday that Americares has been supporting The Bahamas since September, shortly after Dorian wreaked havoc on Abaco and Grand Bahama, by providing medicine and healthcare support directly to survivors both on Abaco as well as in shelters on New Providence.
Americares is a “health-focused relief and development organization that saves lives and improves the health of people affected by poverty or disaster”.