ON January 7, 2020, the contract for construction of the new Micoud Wellness Centre was signed heralding a new, modern era of health care for residents of Micoud and neighbouring communities. The construction of the Wellness Centre is being funded and implemented through the Government’s Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP) which aims to build the country’s resilience to climate change impacts, including enhanced disaster risk and varied health sector impacts.
In keeping with the latest trends in global health care, the new facility focuses on wellness, preventative care and early interventions. Speaking to the importance of this approach, Minister Dr Gale Rigobert, Parliamentary Representative for the Micoud North constituency and Minister for Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development explained that, “we need not wait until a citizen is so unwell and, in some cases, unable to fend for him or herself or his or her family to make an intervention. So, the emphasis on wellness and preventative care is central to what we will be doing at this Wellness Centre and undergirds health services nationally as well. Community health care is very much a feature of our national culture, especially in the rural areas; it is what we rely on and we have a cadre of health service providers in the village that we can boast of.”
The 4,000 square foot modern facility features triage, a nurses’ station, pharmacy service area, dental services, auxiliary water supply, generator house and is climate controlled to effectively deliver health services. The facility is compliant with global standards for health care delivery and is designed to withstand climate change impacts, including stronger hurricanes and more frequent flood and drought events.
Minister Guy Joseph, Minister for Economic Development, Transport and Civil Aviation under who the DVRP falls as well as Minister Dr Gale Rigobert, were integral in bringing the project to this stage and were present at the contract signing. Minister Guy Joseph described the project as one that would be welcomed by the community and said that it is long overdue. He complimented Minister Dr Rigobert on her commitment to the project and expressed his delight saying, “the project is something the people of Micoud deserve.”
Dr Rigobert expressed her equal gratitude to Minister Guy Joseph, his Ministry and other stakeholders who have been instrumental in ensuring that the project comes to life. “I am very excited and relieved that we’ve been able to sign this project off today which means that we should see blocks going up shortly, and anticipate a ribbon cutting ceremony soon! I wish to thank Micoudians for their patience, perseverance and understanding over the last few years. For me this is the best start to 2020 – the people of Micoud will finally get their Wellness Centre!” Dr Rigobert also thanked the dedicated health care professionals of the present Micoud Health Centre for their unwavering commitment to service notwithstanding the challenging circumstances.
At the contract signing Ned Sammuel, Managing Director of Mega Contracting Inc. which was awarded the contract following a competitive bidding process reiterated the significance of the project and gave his company’s commitment to delivering the project on time and within budget, while providing meaningful employment and economic opportunities for the community. The contracted company emphasized that the majority of labour for the project will come from Micoud.
As part of the on-going commitment to keep residents informed on the project, a community meeting was held on Wednesday January 8, 2020 at 6 p.m. at the Micoud Secondary School. There, more details about the construction were provided and an update given on compensation for the existing structure on site. Minister Rigobert stated emphatically that Micoud residents will be “meaningfully engaged” in the project and urged residents in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting to express their interest in employment opportunities.
Further to the evident benefit of having a health care facility upon the completion of the project, the economic benefit to the community during the construction phase is expected to be significant.