The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
Better healthcare services for the people of Palau
Three newly rehabilitated health centres will help strengthen the small island nation’s health system and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
With a $1.65 million grant from the India-UN Development Partnership Fund, UNOPS is supporting Palau’s Ministry of Health and Human Services by rehabilitating several community health centres. The improved centres will help deliver patient-focussed healthcare to community members across the island and provide safe working conditions for medical staff.
The Northern Community Health Center, located in Palau’s Ngarchelong state, was officially inaugurated in mid-November. Palau’s President, Surangel S. Whipps Jr., joined representatives from the governments of India and Palau, UNOPS and other officials to celebrate the completion of the first centre.
I strongly believe that this newly-improved infrastructure will provide an accessible, safe and comfortable space for community members to receive quality and efficient primary healthcare services.
The upgraded centres will help overcome health-related challenges brought on by remoteness and socio-economic disparities – a common challenge among Small Island Developing States. The improvements will help bring basic and critical primary care services closer to communities as well reduce the burden on the island’s hospital. The centres will further enhance accessibility for people living with disabilities.
Sustainable, resilient and inclusive infrastructure is important in overcoming climate-related challenges and supporting development in Small Island Developing States. Because of this, upgrades to the centres focussed on resilient and green infrastructure solutions to tackle climate-induced vulnerabilities. This includes adopting energy efficient solutions and using construction materials suitable for extreme coastal weather conditions.
Samina Kadwani, UNOPS Director for the Pacific, Thailand and Indonesia, said: “We are proud to have been a part of this South-South cooperation initiative and remain committed to helping improve the lives of Palauans, by building the future through quality infrastructure.”
A second fully rehabilitated community health centre, located in the south end of the island, is expected to be handed over in early December.