(GIS) – The Comfort Bay Senior Citizens Home will soon be converted to a smart health facility. The change will make it safer, by increasing its resilience to natural disasters; and greener, by increasing energy efficiency through water harvesting and improved ventilation.
The concept underlining the Smart Hospital/Healthcare Facilities Project is” “Safe plus Green equals Smart.” The home will be the flagship project for Saint Lucia, and is expected to be a model smart health facility for the region.
Engineer with the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Monty Emmanuel, said this is the first of many projects.
“A lot of hard work went into getting this project started,” he said. “PAHO has worked tirelessly to get us into Smart mode, to get our facilities more resilient to climate change, and the Ministry of Health is proud of our flagship.”
Manager for Comfort Bay, Gertrude Gustave, outlined some the deliverables she expects under this project which include more hand rails for the elderly, improved laundry services, and water harvesting.
“We’re in an area that is very windy and close to the sea, so there is no way we’re going to get any shelter from a hurricane. So I am very thankful for the hurricane shutters. Our electrical work is another area that needs a boost.”
Rocky Phillips from Lawrence and Associates, the contractors for the project, pledged their commitment to deliver a high quality product.
“We want when this is done that Lawrence and Associates is applauded for their work and the value for money for our client,” he said.
PAHO Representative Shalini Jagnarine, explained PAHO’s reasoning for the Smart Hospital/Health Facilities project.
“At PAHO we’ve been looking at this for many years. We first started off with “safe” then incorporated “climate change” and we have now added “green” so that we can now become “smart”. Many of the concerns at Comfort Bay revolve around safety, especially with regard to hurricane resilience, earthquake resilience, the safety of the staff on the slippery on floors, electrical safety issues, fire safety, water storage capacity, and just the ability of the facility to remain open in case there is an event.”
For her part, Human Services Director, Elizabeth Lewis, expressed gratitude to PAHO and asked that they continue to keep Saint Lucia always in their radar.
“Again on behalf of the minister and by extension the government and people of Saint Lucia I really want to thank DFID and PAHO for this major contribution.”
The contract award ceremony took place at the Comfort Bay Senior Citizens Home on Feb. 28.
The project is being implemented by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) with funding from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) to the tune of EC $5 million.