New U.S.-Funded Medical Clinic Opens in Seychelles
Members of the Praslin Island community and the U.S. military's Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) dedicated a new health clinic in Grand Anse, Seychelles, on April 24, 2008.
Praslin's pre-existing clinic was not able to handle its patient load, resulting in conflicting interests. The new Grand Anse clinic boasts a covered ambulance bay, a casualty unit and a physiotherapy room.
"In the past, babies were being weighed in the same rooms where family planning was being discussed with local women," said Dinah Hiboone, health coordinator for Praslin. "Now all that has changed and there is enough room for everyone to be taken care of separately."
Hiboone said the expanded clinic, which can now treat up to 200 patients each day instead of the 80 per day in the past, means a heavy load has been taken off the Baie Ste Anne Health Centre.
CJTF-HOA commander Read Admiral Philip H. Greene, Jr., said the project "represents what is on our hearts because it is something that bonds us together."
U.S. Ambassador to the Seychelles, Cesar B.Cabrera, and the Seychelles Minister for Health and Social Development, Marie-Pierre Lloyd, were on hand for the dedication as well.
"Although we are dedicating this new building to treatment and care, you must continue to put greater emphasis on disease prevention because prevention is better than cure," Lloyd said.
The renovation of the clinic, which took roughly 18 months to complete, was funded by the United States and completed by U.S. Army members deployed from Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, in conjunction with a local contracting firm.
The Republic of Seychelles consists of 115 tropical islands in the Indian Ocean about 1,500 kilometers east of Kenya. About 90 percent of the 86,000 Seychellois people live on Mahe Island. Most others live on Praslin and La Digue.