The Chateaubelair Hospital here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been selected by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) among 16 hospitals and health-centers across the Caribbean to undergo a transformation that is safer, greener, and more resilient to natural disasters.

This forms part of the framework of the Smart Health Care Facilities Project, an initiative backed by UKaid, the UK Department for International Development.

The project is being financially supported by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID) and implemented through PAHO Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief Department in partnership with the ministry of health in each target country.

The Health facilities were selected by PAHO after analyzing the safety situation of nearly 350 hospitals and health centers, and their likelihood of continuing to function in disasters.

PAHO project coordinator Dana Van Alphen said “By becoming ‘smart hospitals’, selected health centers will lower operating costs, reduce risks that can occur in case of disasters, and protect the environment.”

The initiative builds on the Smart Project, which began as a pilot in 2012 and improved structural safety and reduced energy and water use in hospitals in Georgetown in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Pogson in St. Kitts and Nevis.

It is expected that by 2020, more than 600 hospitals and health facilities will be evaluated and 50 will be transformed to be safer and more environmentally friendly under the project, whose budget amounts to just over 38 million pounds, or 49 million dollars.

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