Second relief mission sent to Anguilla

| 27/09/2017
CNS Local Life

The aid team boarding flight to Anguilla

(CNS Local Life): The Cayman Islands Government’s second humanitarian relief mission to Anguilla in two weeks flew to the hurricane-torn island Tuesday, 26 September. Laden with more critical medical supplies donated by the Health Services Authority (HSA), Health City Cayman Islands (HCCI) and the CTMH Doctors’ Hospital, as well as building materials, the flight included a four-person replacement medical team to support the Cayman Islands’ ongoing contributions.

As well as flying home three Anguillan patients evacuated during the first relief mission following treatment at HCCI, the mission also comprised a small contingent of relief medical staff, government officials and bank workers, stated a government press release.

Two doctors and two nurses from HSA went to relieve the health teams sent out days after the Category 5 Hurricane Irma destroyed Anguilla, but the government workers on the flight returned yesterday evening.

“We are very glad that we can continue the assistance we’ve started, especially in terms of medical personnel,” said Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose. “This is the help that Anguilla has indicated they still require. The island is getting on its feet quickly and a lot of that is thanks to the assistance in part that we were able to provide.

“Last night they had a farewell celebration for the first medical team who went there. They were well-received, well taken care of, and I commend their bravery, because with Hurricane Maria bearing down on Anguilla, they all decided to stay because they realised they were making a difference. We’re very, very proud of our Cayman team.”

Supplies taken included water and life-saving equipment to replace those lost when the paediatric unit of the Princess Alexandra Hospital, the island’s main medical facility, was wiped out during the hurricane.

A small contingent of civil servants travelled out to the island. They included the Cabinet Office’s Acting Director of Special Projects Robert Lewis, Julie Hutton from the Office of the Premier, and Government Information Services videographer Lenford Wilks, accompanied by the Director of Hazard Management Cayman Islands McCleary Frederick. Making his second trip in as many weeks to Anguilla, Frederick gave a mid-air briefing to the medical team explaining what to expect on the ground.

“When the Cayman Islands Government first made its offer to assist the Anguillan people, the information received from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office made it clear that the island would need sustained assistance,” he said. “This and subsequent relief trips to Anguilla will help to consolidate our aid efforts with the island’s government and provide a measure of comfort to many of those whose lives fell apart when Irma ravaged the island.”

The flight also included an Anguillan national, who was in Grand Cayman at the time of the storm. In addition, a Caymanian who is lives in Anguilla returned home yesterday.

A relief flight is also scheduled today (Wednesday, 27 September) for the Turks and Caicos Islands, another British Overseas Territory that suffered widespread damage from Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

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