Since 2010 Grenada’s infant mortality rate has been sharply rising and hospital officials are hopeful that new equipment donated for neonatal care can turn things around.
The gift is from the Maria Holder Memorial Trust of Barbados.
The General Hospital received eight incubators, three infant warmers, an ultrasound machine, a pediatric ventilator, vital sign monitors, Pulse Ox machines and one ambulance for general use.
A ceremony was held at the hospital to thank the Trust for the donation, estimated at EC$1.3-million.
According to data from the World Bank and the United Nations, Grenada’s Infant/Neonatal mortality rate was more than fifteen by 2018.
The data tracks the number of death per one thousand births.
At the handing over event Medical Director, Dr George Mitchell said one of the strategic objectives of the Ministry of Health is the reduction of infant mortality.
He spoke of building partnerships that would help in advancing this objective.
In the mid-nineties infant mortality fell to under seven per year and began steadily climbing by 2010.
Pediatric Consultant Dr Beverley Nelson, who initiated the request for help from the Trust, said the package of neonatal equipment will modernise the way care is delivered in that department.
The Maria Holder Memorial Trust supports projects that develop healthcare, education, environment conservation and disaster relief, among others. The focus group of the Trust is children.
Trust project manager, Donna Clarke of Barbados said Grenada’s request came in 2016 and after reviewing the situation found that its hospital needed the new equipment as what was there was “not suitable for the purpose”.
She also noted that a proper maintenance programme has been put in place to ensure the longevity of the new equipment.