Categorized | National News

14 Clinics Close after Hurricane Joaquin

After the wrecking impact of Hurricane Joaquin two weeks ago, clinics in the southeast and central Bahamas remain closed.

Chief Medical Officer Glen Beneby announced the closure of the clinics at a press conference held at the Office of the Prime Minister recently.

According to Dr. Beneby, two major clinics that were affected are Clarence Town Clinic in Long Island and Colonel Hill Clinic in Crooked Island, both of which had to be temporarily withdrawn from service.

Dr. Beneby said notwithstanding the fact that his ministry has had to modify its services, it continues to maintain services at all levels, which he said was also done throughout the hurricane.

Although 14 clinics on the affected islands are closed, Dr. Beneby said the Ministry of Health has a “well organized programme for disasters.”

He said each year during the months of May and April his ministry implements disaster plans; therefore, ensuring its proactivity and readiness to function even in the event of an unexpected hurricane.

Dr. Beneby said this plan was implemented in three stages: pre-hurricane, during the hurricane, and post hurricane.

He noted that in the prep stages all clinics were fully staffed and equipped to function in anticipation of storm impact.

“If we were not prepared in that way, the hurricane would have left us even worse than we found ourselves,” he said.

“Indeed, during the hurricane we have a team of officers that man the station during the hurricane.”

Additionally, during the post hurricane period, there are volunteers available to assist.
Dr. Beneby expressed his gratitude to his team of health care workers as he said many of them lost their homes due to the storm.

“Indeed, the Landrail Point clinic became not a clinic, but a centre where all the persons were gathered so it became a centre of care for that community,” Dr. Beneby said.

“We were able to, with the support of persons in the area, maintain the cold chain, which is the vaccines and the medication to a satisfactory level and immediately after the hurricane we were able to send in supplies with the support of NEMA and the Defence Force.

“We want to say as a grateful people, we cannot imagine the extent of this devastation in any scenario where we have one case of reported mortality that was not directly due to the hurricane.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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