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United States and Taiwan Collaborate on Medical Mission to Benefit St. Kitts and Nevis

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Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 26, 2024 (SKNIS): Over the course of eight days, from March 18 to March 25, 2024, St. Kitts and Nevis experienced additional support in healthcare services, thanks to the United States Air Force Southern Command Lesser Antilles Medical Assistance Team (LAMAT) mission.

This initiative featured medical professionals from the U.S. providing specialised medical services in areas such as general surgery, ophthalmology, dental care, and audiology to the Federation’s patients and medical personnel. The Republic of China (Taiwan) was a key partner of the mission, deploying medical professionals to support the U.S. team.

The LAMAT 2024 mission, described as a smaller yet unique operation in comparison to previous missions, like the hospital ship USNS Comfort’s visit in 2019, marked a significant milestone in the ongoing healthcare collaboration between St. Kitts and Nevis, the United States, and Taiwan. The joint effort enhanced the health outcomes for the local population by providing free specialist treatment to those in need.

During the closing ceremony held on March 26, 2024, at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas, Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, lauded the mission’s success and highlighted the significance of the collaboration.  

Senior Minister Dr. Douglas

“This tripartite collaboration serves as a model for triangular cooperation in assisting states to achieve their health objectives,” said Senior Minister Dr. Douglas, who emphasised the operation’s alignment with the Government’s objectives and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 17, which calls for partnerships for the goals.

Dr. Douglas also pointed out the economic implications of the mission, noting that a strong healthcare system is crucial for the nation’s economic health, particularly in sectors like tourism that are vital to the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis.

“This LAMAT Mission has proven to be helpful not only for the health of our people but also the health of our nation,” he added.

The senior minister said that collaboration between the medical teams from the United States and Taiwan with local healthcare providers was seamless, providing a model for future healthcare missions and international cooperation. He expressed gratitude towards the governments of the United States of America and the Republic of China (Taiwan) for their contributions, which have set a high standard for healthcare provision in the Federation. 

The successful completion of the LAMAT 2024 mission is a testament to the power of international cooperation in addressing healthcare needs and improving the well-being of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. Dr. Douglas said that the Federation looks forward to continuing its partnerships with both nations and furthering the advancements in healthcare and economic development for its citizens.

From March 17 to 25, the LAMAT 2024 mission, in collaboration with Taiwanese medical professionals and local health officials, provided comprehensive care to a total of 265 Accident and Emergency (A&E) patients. In addition, 251 individuals received primary care services, while 344 patients benefited from dental care. The mission also conducted 136 audiology assessments, which included screenings for eight newborns, and undertook 24 surgical procedures. 

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