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News : Bahamas Information Services Updates Last Updated: Dec 1, 2021 - 6:31:56 PM


Ministry of Health and Wellness seeking assistance from Germany in COVID-19 fight
By Lindsay Thompson
Dec 1, 2021 - 3:25:31 PM

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His Excellency Dr. Stefan Keil, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to The Bahamas, paid a Courtesy Call on the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville, Minister of Health and Wellness at the ministry on Wednesday, December 1, 2021. Pictured from left: Dr. Cherita Moxey; Charlene Bain, Administrator, Community Health Services; Dr. Philip Swann, Registrar; Dr. Darville; Ambassador Keil; Colin Higgs, Permanent Secretary; and Dr. Bridgette Rolle, Executive Director/Health Safety and Wellness. (BIS Photo/Kristaan Ingraham)

Nassau, The Bahamas - The Ministry of Health and Wellness is preparing for a possible fourth wave of COVID-19 and is looking to Germany to share best practices, and other measures in combating the pandemic virus.

These sentiments were expressed during a Courtesy Call in which His Excellency Dr. Stefan Keil, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to The Bahamas, met with the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville, Minister of Health and Wellness at the ministry on Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

Also present from the ministry were: Permanent Secretary Colin Higgs, Dr. Philip Swann, Registrar; Charlene Bain, Administrator Community Health Services; Siobhan Deane, Under Secretary; Dr. Cherita Moxey, and Dr. Bridgette Rolle, Executive Director/Health Safety and Wellness.

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His Excellency Dr. Stefan Keil, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to The Bahamas, presents the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville, Minister of Health and Wellness, with a gift during a Courtesy Call at the ministry on Wednesday, December 1, 2021. (BIS Photo/Kristaan Ingraham)

Dr. Darville shared with the German ambassador that The Bahamas had experienced a “difficult” third wave in the COVID-19 pandemic, with the highest death numbers per capita in the region. This was mostly attributed to patients with non-communicable diseases and other underlying health issues.

However, the country through its health services is preparing for the fourth wave: encouraging the public to get vaccinated is one means of fighting the pandemic; despite vaccine hesitancy.  He said, “we will continue to reach out to Germany for technical advice” on fending off and fighting the pandemic.

Germany boasts 75 percent vaccination of its population.  The Bahamas is at approximately 45 percent.

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At the table are Dr. Darville; Ambassador Keil; and Colin Higgs, Permanent Secretary. (BIS Photo/Kristaan Ingraham)

Dr. Darville also mentioned other challenges posed by the pandemic -- particularly on the health care system and facilities, adding that with The Bahamas being an archipelago it is difficult to replicate systems and facilities on each island.
In this vein, the government has pledged to build two new hospitals on New Providence and Grand Bahama, respectively, which will augment the 91 public clinics throughout the islands. Meanwhile, the ministry is seeking to upgrade some of those clinics as a matter of priority.

“We realize Germany is a very technical country and we will be reaching out for devices to do complex surgeries, and other technical support,” Dr. Darville said.
The German ambassador praised The Bahamas for its management of  COVID-19 and its ongoing vaccination programme. He also pledged his government’s assistance in technical areas, acquiring vaccines through the COVAX facility, and doing the “utmost” to bring both countries closer in various areas.

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Hon. Dr. Michael Darville, Minister of Health and Wellness, presents His Excellency Dr. Stefan Keil, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to The Bahamas, with a gift during a Courtesy Call at the ministry on Wednesday, December 1, 2021. (BIS Photo/Kristaan Ingraham)



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