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Government of the Bahamas

09/30/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/30/2019 13:50

WHO Director General and Delegation Visit Hurricane Dorian-Impacted Abaco and Grand Bahama

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama - Minister of Health, the Hon. Dr. Duane Sands, accompanied Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and delegations from PAHO and the Ministry of Health, on a tour of Abaco and Grand Bahama, September 27, 2019.

Arriving in Grand Bahama by charter plane on Friday afternoon, the group viewed first-hand, the devastation from Hurricane Dorian some four weeks ago. They were able to view the residential community of Lady Lake, the University of The Bahamas and the High Rock Government Complex, as well as Samaritan's Purse International Relief.

Though pressed for time due to lighting restraints with no power restored at the airport, Dr. Sands noted, 'This expression of solidarity with the people of The Bahamas is unprecedented. This is the first time that a sitting Director General (of WHO) has visited The Bahamas, albeit under terrible circumstances.'

He added, 'In addition, we had the opportunity to see first-hand the devastation brought on by Dorian and the impact of climate change on small island development states. It is the same message the Prime Minister would have delivered to the United Nations.

'We believe The Bahamas is now a victim of the dramatic changes brought on by the warming of the seas, increased cyclonic activity, rising sea levels; and to have the Director General here -- to have the Pan American Health Organization represented, in real time, gives some substance to our standing and our mission to get the world to understand that we can no longer just talk about this, but it's time for action.'

Accompanying the delegation on the tour were Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator the Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson and Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr. Harcourt Brown.

Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus toured hurricane Dorian-ravaged Grand Bahama and Abaco on Friday, September 27, 2019 accompanied by Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands, and PAHO and Ministry of Health officials.