The Antigua and Barbuda government expended millions of dollars to strengthen
the healthcare system to make it more resilient and robust to face challenges such
as the COVID-19 disease and other health emergencies that may occur in the
The disclosure was made by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Health,
Senator Samantha Marshall at an Inter-American Development Bank Loan
Facility: Global Loan Programme to Build Health, Social and Economic Resilience
in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Member Countries
workshop, taking place at the Royalton Hotel.
Sen. Marshall said the workshop was a significant milestone in the collective
efforts to build health, social, and economic resilience within Antigua and
Barbuda, and by extension, across the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.
“Sometime in or about March 2021, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda
(GOAB) sought assistance from the Inter-American Development Bank, for
financing, aimed at enhancing our COVID-19 crisis response, promoting resilience
building, and facilitating recovery in the Health Sector. This initiative represents
one of our strategic responses to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has
posed unprecedented challenges to our small, vulnerable twin-island nation,” she
She described the overarching objective of the project, funded through the loan
facility, as being aimed at enhancing the country’s capacity to mitigate the direct
and indirect impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health of the population. It
is a testament to the government’s commitment to safeguarding the well-being of
our citizens and ensuring a resilient healthcare system.
“Thanks to the support of the Inter-American Development Bank and the
Caribbean Development Bank, we received a loan totaling US$4.68 million to
invest in our healthcare. Just over US$1.5 million was allocated as retroactive pay
for the investment made by the government, to strengthen our COVID-19
healthcare management strategy. Whilst, US$3 million+ was directed towards the
equipping of a new Renal Centre and to purchase critical diagnostic equipment, to
include a new incinerator and oxygen plant for the Sir Lester Bird Medical
Centre,” Sen. Marshall stated.
The Minister of State noted that such investments will certainly help the
government address the current challenges it faces, ensuring that the healthcare
sector has the necessary tools and resources to effectively combat the pandemic,
and at the same time improve the healthcare services it currently provides.