On December 22, U.S. Embassy Belmopan delivered personal protective equipment (PPE) to Central Medical Lab (CML) staff in Belize City. The PPE, valued at over $47,500 USD, was donated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and was initiated by the CDC Central America Regional Team based at U.S. Embassy Guatemala. The PPE was purchased and sourced through a Belizean vendor, Belmopan Medical Laboratory Supplies.
U.S. Embassy Belmopan’s Medical Chief Sarah Kieffer represented the U.S. government at the donation delivery. She emphasized that the donation comes at a time where PPE supplies, particularly N95 respirators, are in high demand. “The equipment donated by the U.S. government will protect front-line medical workers, including critically important laboratory staff,” Ms. Kieffer stated. “The United States is proud to support the Belizean government in their efforts to protect the country’s front-line medical workers so that they can continue their lifesaving efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Belize.”
The donated PPE includes 2,000 N95 respirators, 750 full body coveralls and 1,500 shoe covers. Central Lab is the only lab in Belize that currently conducts the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which detects genetic material of the virus and is considered the most reliable test for COVID-19. In addition, the CDC has also donated a new centrifuge to the Central Lab, which will help expand the capabilities of Belize’s National Blood Bank.