The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment is continuing efforts to prepare emergency supply chains for potential disease outbreaks.
To this end, the Ministry on Tuesday 28th, January, 2020, brought together stakeholders from Government departments and NGOs for a one-day workshop on emergency supply chain preparedness. One of the aims of the workshop was to outline Saint Vincent and the Grenadines' approach to emergency supply chains.
In his welcome remarks, Chief Pharmacist Levi Walker, expressed his delight with the turnout at the workshop. Walker told the audience that he's glad that they "gave this workshop the priority and importance that it really deserves" and thanked USAID for their support by way of sponsoring the workshop.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, Cuthbert Knights described the workshop as one that will enhance knowledge when it comes to emergency supply chain management and preparedness. Knights advised participants to become advocates for "the management of supplies, especially in this era where we are seeing a very fast pace in which diseases and viruses are really plaguing our planet and I have to mention, most recently, the coronavirus".
Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment, Hon. Luke Browne, said that this country's focus should not only be on disaster resilience but infectious disease resilience as well. He noted that the top threats must be identified and the response protocol clearly worked out. Minister Browne highlighted that the matter of dealing with and responding to any adverse development requires a lot of coordination. He noted that this country is taking very seriously the business of emergency health and disease management and revealed that a dedicated health disaster coordinator and a full-fledged unit that is responsible for dealing with all related matters is now in place.
The workshop, a USAID Global Health supply chain programme, was facilitated by Dr. Rhyenne Zimmerman, Engagement Manager with McKinsey and Company. Follow-up workshops will be held on February 10th and 11th, 2020.