Barbados has established an embassy in Ghana which is set to open next month.
Minister of Health and Wellness Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic, who made the announcement, said there are also plans to establish an embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, as he acknowledged the cultural and historical bonds between Barbados and the African continent.
“This is a very serious undertaking by the Government of Barbados, to really have those connections and those ties, and to cement something that should have been cemented really several years ago,” he said.
Bostic further revealed that negotiations have started to establish a direct air route between Barbados and Ghana.
The Health Minister made the disclosures on Monday at a luncheon hosted by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to welcome 49 Ghanaian nurses who have been assigned to the institution.
The nurses are part of a 95-member contingent on a two-year-assignment to help bolster the island’s nursing complement. Their specialities include paediatrics, ophthalmology, surgical intensive care, and accident and emergency.
Welcoming the nurses to the healthcare system in Barbados, Bostic told them they would have a vital role in a system that, though “very good”, lacked sufficient human resources.
“And even with your presence here, we are still short of nurses. It is a global problem and we have suffered, but we don’t intend to suffer for too long because we are taking some steps to make sure that we establish some sort of a nursing school in this country that would allow us to produce more nurses, some for export and some for here in Barbados,” he said.
The Health Minister urged the Ghanaian and local nurses who attended the luncheon to work hand-in-hand to ensure the success of the project.
“No one has a monopoly on knowledge or experience, but the collective wisdom of the persons in this room, working together to deliver the highest level of health care to the people of Barbados, that is going to speak volumes for the relationship between Ghana and Barbados going forward,” he maintained.
“This is a beautiful country, but like all countries, not every single thing is going to be to your liking and you will come up on challenges from time to time, but you must fight those challenges based on the fact that you should recognise that this is your ancestral home in the Americas.
“You must fight any obstacles of criticism with your professional conduct and the delivery of high quality professional medical services to the people of Barbados,” Minister Bostic added. (BT/ BGIS)