Ministry of Health, WPP collaborate

GIS:-The World Pediatric Project is A US Non-Profit Organization that Provides Advanced Critical Care to Children from Developing Countries.

Representatives from the World Pediatric Project, a US non-profit organization with a mission to provide children from developing countries with access to advanced pediatric critical care, paid the Ministry of Health a courtesy visit to dialogue, and discuss the future of the clinical care program in Saint Lucia.

Senior Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr Sharon Belmar-George, said the ministry is appreciative of continued collaboration.

“As a result of our collaboration with the World Pediatric Project, we have been able to provide medical care to quite a few children both publicly and privately. Many are patients who would not have been able to afford such care overseas, as most of these services are not available in Saint Lucia. The services are provided [in Saint Lucia] by visiting teams, and there are also referrals for surgical care in Missouri, Virginia, and Saint Vincent, so we are pleased with the collaboration and we are working closely with the team to ensure the sustainability of the program for the benefit of the children.”

The World Pediatric Project is currently based in Richmond, Virginia, with a second office in St. Louis, Missouri. Recognizing the relatively small population of each individual nation, the WPP conceived the “hub concept” of concentrating resources in Saint Vincent to deliver services to all the children of the Eastern Caribbean.

WPP CEO, Susan Rickman, said the slogan of the organization is to “Heal a Child, Change the World.”

“We have been working in the Eastern Caribbean since 2001 and active in Saint Lucia since 2008. Our mission is to link children to critical care services that they do not have the in the countries where they live. The services include open heart surgery, neural and spine surgery, and other high-end pediatric sub-specialties that unfortunately, some of those countries cannot afford to have those kinds of specialists. We partner with the local ministries of health, and the local medical community who provide information on the condition of the patients, and know which ones need to be seen by an organization like the World Pediatric Project.”

Next to Saint Vincent, Saint Lucia has the second largest number of patients that have benefitted from the organization.

“In Saint Lucia, our 60th child is getting ready to travel to the United States, and we have eight more kids on the list, the bulk of those services being open heart surgery,” Susan Rickman said. “In addition, almost 70 Saint Lucian children have gone to Saint Vincent to have their surgery done with our teams.”

Since 2008, 730 procedures at a total value of US $12 million, have been provided at no cost to families in need.

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