The United States donated two 40-bed field hospitals to Antigua and Barbuda during a handover ceremony on November 11. U.S. Ambassador to Antigua and Barbuda Linda Taglialatela joined Prime Minister Gaston Browne for the handover at Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force Headquarters at Camp Blizzard. “Today’s donation marks yet another step in our journey together to end this pandemic,” said Ambassador Taglialatela. “The United States will continue to stand with you. We will not rest in our work to restore our shared health and prosperity.” Prime Minister Browne thanked the United States for the donation saying, “I am very happy to be here to accept this gift on behalf of the people of Antigua and Barbuda. This gift of two field hospitals is sizeable in terms of value…and also very timely and appropriate in the context of the challenges associated with COVID” He joined the U.S. Ambassador and representatives of the Ministry of Health on a tour of the facility following the official program.
The field hospital donation follows one week after the arrival of 23,300 Pfizer vaccines from the United States, which brought the total to 58,400 Pfizer vaccines donated by the United States to the people of Antigua and Barbuda. The field hospital donation, valued over US$1.3 million, will help respond to the ongoing pandemic and expand the Ministry of Health’s capacity to prepare for future challenges, including hurricanes and other natural disasters. The donation was made possible through the U.S. military’s U.S. Southern Command Humanitarian Assistance Program. It included a four-day training on the setup, teardown, and storage of the field hospitals with the U.S. manufacturer, Western Shelter. Members of Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force, National Office of Disaster Services, Mount Saint John’s Medical Centre, and members of other services participated in the exercise.