On Friday, November 13th, international NGO Samaritan’s Purse concludes operations at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH). The organization commenced clinical services of a field hospital providing isolation and treatment of COVID positive patient at PMH on October 19th, 2020. The thirty-three (33) member team from Samaritan’s Purse included doctors, nurses, water and sanitation specialists, an electrician, and other key support staff. The team worked closely with PMH clinical staff providing care to patients and conducting training in preparation for Friday’s handover.
PMH Hospital Administrator Mary Lightbourne-Walker who also serves on the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Emergency Operations Committee conveyed appreciation on behalf of the PHA Managing Director, Catherine Weech and noted that the collaboration was one that highlighted the continued strong relationship between Samaritan’s Purse and the PHA; a relationship that began after Hurricane Dorian and continues afterwards. The twenty (30) bedded field hospital was made up of seven tents, a temporary ambulance bay, male and female patient wards, with toilet facilities, donning/doffing areas for staff personal protective equipment (PPE), staff work areas, staff bathroom facilities and medical supplies.
Nurse Shannon Wood who serves as the Samaritan’s Purse Infection Prevention and Control, (IPC) Coordinator said, “We are very grateful for the beautiful collaboration with the staff and leadership of the Princess Margaret Hospital which allowed for treating over forty patients and training over 1,000 medical professionals.”
Samaritan’s Purse involvement with IPC training in the Bahamas pulled on past experience treating COVID-19 in Italy and New York City and other infectious diseases such as Ebola, cholera, and diphtheria. Samaritan’s Purse trained and equipped Bahamian medical personnel to safely provide care, including how to properly put on and take off Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and providing recommendations on properly isolating COVID patients.
Samaritan’s Purse trained more than 1000 healthcare professionals in proper IPC measures. This included virtual training that reached 36 local clinics across 26 islands.