India donates USD$127,000 worth of medicine to MOH


On Tuesday, July 28, 2020, the High Commission of India handed over a donation of USD$127,000 worth of medicine and other equipment to the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Belize. This donation comes from the Government of India’s decision to reach out to Belize and 26 other Latin American countries affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) tablets, other essential drugs, testing kits, and other COVID-related protection gear have been handed over. Besides these, there will also be the sharing of expertise through dispatching Rapid Response teams and the conduction of online-training for frontline healthcare workers. The total value of aid (inclusive of transport and duties) being donated to Belize is around Rs 9.5 million or USD$127,000.
Accepting this donation on behalf of the Government and people of Belize was Hon. Pablo Marin, Ministry of Health. During the short ceremony, he expressed Belize’s gratitude toward the Indian community in Belize as well as in India. “This donation will definitely help us to be better prepared, we are grateful for all the donations we get and the support we know is always there from the Government and people of India.”
The Government of India has managed to accomplish this donation despite the difficult global circumstances brought on by COVID-19. This global lockdown has adversely affected drug supply as well as delivery logistics, and the fact that the people and Government of India have made this effort is a testimony to their support toward Belize as well as the capacity of their pharmaceutical industry. Their pharmaceutical sector supplies more than 50% of global demands for a variety of vaccines since they are capable of providing both quality and affordable drugs. India is also the largest provider of generic medicines globally, accounting for 20% of the total; 40% of the total demand for generic drugs in the USA and 25% of all medicines for UK are being supplied by India. India contributes the second largest share of pharmaceutical and biotech workforce in the world.
Besides Belize, the other countries to benefit from this initiative are: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, St. Kitts And Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent And The Grenadines, Suriname, Republic Of Trinidad And Tobago, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Guatemala, Ecuador, Bolivia, Cuba, Peru, Venezuela, and Republic of Paraguay. Likewise, they have been gifted packages containing HCQ, fourteen other essential drugs, and COVID-19 protective gear. The total value of the medical aid to Latin America and the Caribbean region is Rs 160 million or USD$2,139,000 USD. India has also provided about Rs 180 million or USD$2.4 million worth of medical aid to countries in its neighborhood; Rs 30 million or USD$401,000 worth of medical aid to small countries in the Indian Ocean region; and Rs 300 million or USD$4.01 million worth of medical aid to 25 countries in Africa.