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On 1st April 2023, Her Excellency Mrs Damtien Larbli Tchintchibidja, Vice-President of the ECOWAS Commission, led a foundation laying ceremony to initiate the construction of a 66-bed pediatric and maternity facility at the Bafatá Regional Hospital in Guiné-Bissau.  This 66-bed facility is part of investments directly financed by the ECOWAS Commission under the ECOWAS Fund for Regional Stabilization and Development (FRSD) in Guiné-Bissau. It will include a 27-bed maternity and 39-bed pediatric wards, as well as medical consultation rooms, a surgery facility, a pharmacy, and a laboratory, all equipped to enhance healthcare delivery in the region.

Speaking at the ceremony, H.E. Damtien Larbli Tchintchibidja, highlighted the importance that the ECOWAS Commission places on health systems investment, especially in view of the challenges the region has faced as a result of the Ebola and the covid-19 outbreaks, and the need to build efficient health systems to meet the needs of citizens and also be able to withstand shocks.  She highlighted the broad intervention areas of the FRSD in Guiné-Bissau, which would include capacity building for entrepreneurship among youth and women; access to renewable energy; agricultural development; access to water; and the construction of basic social infrastructure such as schools, health posts, and vocational training centres, with a total investment budget of 9.7 million EUROS. She further indicated that these activities would be implemented in Gabu, Bafatá, Bolama, and Quinara, in partnership with KFW and GIZ until December 2025.

On behalf of the Government of Guiné-Bissau, H.E. Suzi Carla Barbosa, Minister of State – Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Communities, expressed gratitude to the ECOWAS Commission for initiating the FRSD, to enhance resilience building in countries such as Guiné-Bissau. She recognized the FRSD investments as timely and reiterated the commitment of the Government of Guiné-Bissau towards the realization of all planned interventions in the four regions of Gabu, Bafatá, Bolama and Quinara.

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Honourable Dr Dionísio Cumba, Minister of Public Health also applauded the ECOWAS Commission for the initiative and for recognizing the importance of the health sector for the general wellbeing of populations.

Other dignitaries present included H.E. José Carlos Varela Casimiro, Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Integration, Madam Cristina da Silva Pedreira – President of the ECOWAS Administrative and Finance Committee, Representatives of the Local Government of Bafatá as well as the management of the Bafatá Regional Hospital.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).