The Ministry of Health has received a quarter of a million dollars in medical supplies from some generous donors out of Switzerland.
The project was spearheaded by a Grenadian living in Switzerland, Chester Simon and a Swedish couple Peter Gernert and his wife, Dr. Ursula Gernert who have invested in a house on the island.
The supplies arrived in the country less than a month ago.
The package of medical supplies will be used to stock up the island’s hospitals and Medical Centres.
The handing over ceremony took place Monday at the Central Medical Stores at Mt Gay in the presence of Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Myrna Hagley who assured the donors that the medicines would be put into full and good use.
“Mr (Chester) Simon has continued the good work he has started. He is so generous in his giving and he has extended even to the Ministry of Education to go to the schools and we can say that all that is being given to us will be used – it will be (given) to the public and I know it will be put into full use,” she said.
Peter Gernert explained how the project started to get the medical supplies for Grenada.
“Simon told me about the Chikungunya problem in Grenada and the fact that the specific medication against the Chikungunya was out of stock”, he said.
According to Peter, his wife got directly involved and used her contacts as a medical professional among Swedish manufacturers to put forward a case for Grenada.
“…My wife slipped into a role which was completely unknown to her … she approached every company representatives and told the story of Grenada again and again”, he said.
“…It was the start of a long and complex project, we needed to find out what was really needed, talk to the companies again and the companies needed written confirmation from our side in order to comply with World Health Organisation guidelines,” he added.
Among the medical supplies that arrived in the container from Sweden were Paracetamol tablets, Anti-biotic, Panadol, Diabetic and Anti Diabetic medicine and several different bandages.
According to Peter Gernert, the supplies should be given freely to patient at state-owned medical institutions and should not be allowed to find their way onto the shelves of private pharmacies for sale to the public.
He stated that based on the criteria and guidelines set down by the World Health Organisation, the medicines are to be dispensed free of cost only by public hospitals and medical health centres owned and operated by the state.
Gernert described it as as “free of charge medication for the people of Grenada”.
“All of the material is in its original packaging, they are brand new from the manufactures or wholesalers. There is a very small quantity of Paracetemol with an expiry date of May 2015 – everything else has date of expiration of 2016 or 2017,” he said.
Simon who flew to his homeland for the delivery of the medical supplies briefed the media on some of the other contents in the container.
“I brought some hoses because the staff here wanted it … some jackets for the cold room”, he said.
“I am going around the island (to) distribute a few of the things myself, also (for) the schools I brought some computers, I brought writing pads, a couple tablets,” he added.
The container of medical supplies from Sweden was the first sizable donation made to the Ministry of Health for 2015.