Wednesday 25 November, 2020

SickKids Canada opens Paediatric Centre of Excellence in Barbados

The Canadian High Commissioner in Barbados (left) and Chair of the QEH (right) looked on as the Chair of the LeLois Shaw Foundation and Barbados Prime Minister shook hands.

The Canadian High Commissioner in Barbados (left) and Chair of the QEH (right) looked on as the Chair of the LeLois Shaw Foundation and Barbados Prime Minister shook hands.

The Government of Barbados has partnered with The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) Toronto to establish a Centre of Paediatric Excellence in Barbados for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. 

The centre which has been supported by international charities - Leslois Shaw Foundation and the Clinton Foundation, has been endorsed by Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who commended this initiative for seeking to improve the quality of life for citizens. 

The establishment of the centre is a seven-year programme which will include the refurbishment of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) Paediatric Ward. Director of Capacity Building for the Centre of Global Child Health, Brian Smith disclosed furniture will be installed in the ward and waiting rooms and necessary medical equipment will be procured. The child health spaces at the island’s eight polyclinics will also be furbished and the required medical equipment will be procured.

Smith also revealed that the Centre will develop a specialist nursing training programme in paediatrics for 40 nurses and four physicians in targeted high need paediatric sub-specialties. They will be trained through fellowships at the Hospital for Sick Children(SickKids). Six international observerships specifically in quality improvement will be offered at The Hospital for Sick Children as well. 

The programme will also offer a patient amenity fund for families outside of Barbados in the Eastern Caribbean to access care at the QEH.

Smith said that the Centre sought to contribute to the advocacy and research in Barbados by also partnering with the Chronic Disease Research Centre (CDRC) and researchers at the University of West Indies (UWI) and the Ministry of Health and Wellness to complete a National Childhood Obesity Surveillance Project. 

“To support sustainability, the programme will invest in Barbados-focused paediatric research and innovation, supporting three catalyst grants that will look particularly at paediatric challenges or problems and support two local postdoctoral fellowships that will look at Barbados relevant paediatric issues,” Smith stated. 

“At the end of seven years, I am confident that with the generous support provided and the passion and dedicated support of the Barbados medical and education communities we will establish the Shaw Centre of Paediatric Excellence and improve the lives of countless children and their families in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean,” he continued. 

Virginia Shaw-Hutchison, chair of the LeLois Shaw Foundation also expressed she hoped that the Centre would contribute to the development of paediatric care on the whole in Barbados. 

"It is our hope to create a modern environment for patient and family while aspiring to establish a centre of innovation for paediatrics, research, education and care."

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