Chargé d’Affaires, Adrienne Galanek’s Remarks
Centers for Disease Control Lab Equipment Handover
January 31, 2018
Thank you all for joining us on this exciting day. In particular, let me recognize CEO Figueroa, CEO of Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital Dr. Coye, Director of Health Services, Dr. Manzanero, Director of the Central Medical Lab Dr. Morazan and PAHO Director Dr. Mendoza.
Thank you, Dr. Morazan, and your entire team at the Central Medical Laboratory for the dedicated work every day in the health sector to detect medical illnesses and diseases which will also help prevent them in the future. Thank you also for your hospitality in hosting this event. I am delighted to be here with our colleagues from the Centers for Disease Control Central America Regional office in Guatemala. Belize has been a long time partner with CDC’s Central America Regional Office and we have with us CDC-Central America Acting Director Dr. Neely Kaydos-Daniels and Deputy Director Loren Cadena.
We are here today to hand over thermocycler laboratory equipment to test for pathogens including influenza, Zika, dengue fever, chikungunya, and other viruses. This technology will enable testing for these diseases to be done in Belize without having to send samples abroad. This highly reliable molecular testing technology will allow for more effective disease surveillance, will help Belize determine if outbreaks are occurring in order to respond rapidly to emergencies, and plan even more effective public health responses. We are pleased that PAHO will partner with this initiative to also provide training.
The longstanding collaboration, partnership and friendship between the Ministry of Health, CDC, the National Laboratory and PAHO will continue to improve surveillance and research into these often debilitating diseases which can adversely impact the health of residents of Belize.
I like to describe everything that we do at our Embassy and with the Government and People of Belize in one word – people. One of the best examples of this mission is our partnership with you across the health sector. Thank you for your work and dedication — often amid many challenges — to provide the best possible care to the people of Belize. Health sector improvements are a critical foundational part of advancing all three of the U.S. Government’s major priorities in partnership with Belize and across all of Central America — citizen security, economic prosperity and democracy and governance. You can’t have any of these things without a healthy populace.
Thank you again for all that you do. A special thanks also to CDC colleagues and Tom DeRoche, Medical Provider, at our Embassy and Bryn West, Political and Economic Officer, for their work behind the scenes to facilitate this donation.