Countries sticking together to help Children
The Ministry of Health just reported a successful outcome of the first Belizean baby to benefit from an arrangement with the cardiology paediatric services with the Hospital Cardiologico Infantil Latinamericano in Caracas, Venezuela.
Cassidy Martinez was diagnosed when she was three months old with an Atrial Septum and Ventricular Septum Defect in Belize City. Her parents were advised to seek further medical assistance for surgical procedures from a Paediatric Cardiologist, but this is a specialist service not yet available in Belize.
Fortunately for young Cassidy and other Belizean children, the Governments of Belize and Venezuela had signed a technical cooperation agreement in August 2010 for the provision of Paediatric Cardiology Services for Belizean children up to 15 years of age with congenital heart disease.
So, enter the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Belize and Ambassador Yoel Perez Marcano. Working with Belize’s Ministry of Health they jumped in and accepted the request to assist baby Martinez. She underwent a successful surgery on October 10th, 2013 and returned to Belize during the first week of November.
And according to a December 5th 2013 update, everything is going fine, and Cassidy’s parents expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Ministry of Health and to the Government and people of Venezuela for the assistance in getting the urgent medical attention required to give their daughter a new lease on life.
This news came to our attention for several reasons. First of all, a child was saved though diplomacy and international cooperation. Secondly, it shows what can be done when nations work together for the good of their citizens. Belize’s diplomatic outreach is clearly working. See? It can and does happen.
Thirdly, we’ve been reporting on progress in Belize in the areas of medical tourism and training for overseas medical students, especially from India. Will the day come when Belize itself will be helping out with regional and global medical assistance?
Here at Chaa Creek we couldn’t be happier for young Cassidy and her family, especially as the holiday season approaches. And we tip our hats for the continued diplomatic efforts of the government in building strong ties within the global community. Belize’s First Lady, Kim Simplis Barrow is just one indication of someone working tirelessly across borders on behalf of the children of Belize.
Little Belize is maturing, facing the challenges and reaping some of the benefits of being a player in the international community. It hasn’t happened overnight, but it is happening, and as our reputation and credibility as a country truly concerned with environmental sustainability and preserving world heritage areas like the Belize Great Barrier Reef while protecting cultural integrity, our influence and good will only continue to grow.
Belize, moving forward as we approach 2014. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?