On Friday, July 25, 2014, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Manual Heredia Jr. officially handed three health support vehicles to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. The vehicles were a donation to Belize by the Government and people of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai.
The Belize Ministry of Health received 26 health support vehicles in total that were distributed to health centers around the country; three of them were given to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Area Representative of Ambergris Caye, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. was on hand to present the vehicles to health officials at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic. Also present were San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero and town councilors Gabriel Nuñez and Severo Guerrero Jr.
The health support vehicles valued at BZ$300,000 are three-wheeled motorcycles with an attached covered unit equipped with seating and a stretcher to transport patients. The vehicles will NOT be used as a replacement for conventional ambulances but will support the clinic in the transportation of patients for healthcare services assist at health promotion events, social events, mobile clinics use and home visits.
Alex Parmelee, a professor at the Washington University of Health & Science in Ambergris Caye, is currently volunteering his services at the Poly Clinic and working on establishing a San Pedro Emergency Medical Service (EMS). Parmalee has over 20 years working experiences with ambulances in the United States of America with experience as a medical doctor in the US Army.
Alex Parmalee (3rd from left) volunteer at Poly Clinic will train volunteers in San Pedro Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
Parmalee will be in charge of training volunteers in the community who want to contribute their services to the clinic. He will train volunteers in First Aid, better communication skills and create a support medical team for the clinic. The three health support vehicles will be under Parmalee’s management and he will be responsible to train the vehicle operators.