Saint Lucia has received an estimated $US 12 million in services from the World Pediatric Project (WPP) since 2008, the Ministry of Health has disclosed.
The WPP provides individual specialized pediatric services at no cost to families or the Saint Lucia government.
The organisation’s mission is to provide children from developing countries access to advanced pediatric critical care.
On Wednesday, WPP representatives paid the Ministry of Health a courtesy visit to dialog with local officials and discuss the way forward in sustaining and developing the program.
Senior Medical Officer, Doctor Sharon Belmar-George said Saint Lucia is pleased about the collaboration with the WPP.
“We have been able to provide medical care to quite a few of our children both publicly and privately here in Saint Lucia and a lot of those cases are persons who would not have been able to afford such care overseas, as most of those services are not available here in Saint Lucia,” Belmar-George observed.
She explained that visiting teams arrive in Saint Lucia to provide clinic care.
There are also referrals for surgical care in Missouri and Virginia where the WPP has offices, as well as in Saint Vincent where the WPP has concentrated resources to deliver services to all the children of the Eastern Caribbean nations.
WPP CEO, Susan Rickman, observed that critical care services provided include open heart and spine surgery in partnership with ministries of health, local governments and the local medical community who know of the children in need and provide the medical diagnosis.
“From Saint Lucia our 60th child is getting ready to come up to the United States and we have eight more kids on the list – the bulk of those being open heart surgery,” Rickman explained.
She said in addition to that, over 70 Saint Lucian children have visited Saint Vincent to have their surgeries done there by the WPP team.
“We have been able to provide over 800 services to Saint Lucia by seeing these kids through follow-ups, routine exams and then of course – the surgical procedures themselves,” Rickman stated.