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Barbados’ Minister of Health, John Boyce joins with Her Excellency Linda Taglialatela, United States Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the OECS, to cut the ribbon to officially declare the Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory open.

A milestone

Opening of new public health laboratory a significant achievement

The opening of the Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory marks a new milestone in the public health development of Barbados.

This comment was made by the Minister of Health, John Boyce, during the opening and renaming ceremony of the amalgamated public health laboratory, which was held on the grounds of the new laboratory on Friday evening. The new public health laboratory is an amalgamation of the Public Health Laboratory, the Ladymeade Reference Unit and the Leptospira Laboratory.

“This ceremony represents a significant milestone for us here in Barbados and celebrates the tangible beginning of a new phase in public health,” he said.

“It is indeed exciting to be a part of this opening ceremony for this new facility, which has the capacity to act as a Reference Laboratory for Barbados and the Caribbean.”

Dr. Kenneth George, Acting Chief Medical Officer, expressed that the opening ceremony served also as a celebration that signified the renewal and expansion of their capacity in primary healthcare in Barbados, which they would not have reached without the tenacity and foresight of dedicated teams, both local and international.

“The journey of public health in Barbados has been punctuated by many success stories. From the elimination of measles to the universal acceptable levels of sanitation, to the universal access to primary healthcare, to the procurement of safe and efficacious pharmaceuticals, to the development of our national response to non-communicable diseases and, more recently our continued collective responses to the epidemics of influenza, Ebola, Chikungunya and Zika,” he said.

“This journey could not have been achieved by the Government of Barbados on its own, but through technical support, expertise and financing given by many regional, international and multilateral partners including UWI, the Caribbean Public Health Agency, WHO, PAHO, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and of course, the Government of the United States of America.”

He strongly expressed that it was his belief that public health represented the building of policies and programmes to strengthen the health and wellness of our population through drawing on the attributes of information sharing, strategic planning, quality assurance and monitoring and evaluation.

Following the opening ceremony, Minister Boyce, Dr. George and other officials, such as Her Excellency Linda Taglialatela, United States Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the OECS; and Laura Griesmer, Deputy Chief of Mission at the embassy of the United States of America, were treated to a tour of the new facilities.

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