GOMEL, 21 November (BelTA) – Three hospitals of Gomel Oblast have received grants worth a total of $217,000 to buy medical equipment under Japan's Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) Program. Gomel Oblast Children's Teaching Hospital hosted a handover ceremony of medical equipment on 21 November, BelTA has learned.
The hospital used the $80,400 grant to buy a system for videoimage endoscopy for its endoscopy unit. The Japanese Grassroots program has been running in Belarus for 15 years, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Belarus Hiroki Tokunaga noted as he took part in the ceremony. “We help Belarusians affected by the affected by Chernobyl to buy the necessary medical equipment,” he said. More than 50 projects worth over $4 million have been implemented in line with the Grassroots program since 2004.
Gomel Oblast Children's Hospital uses new equipment to conduct high-tech research. “We now have the means to perform all types of medical examination, some of which have been introduced at the hospital for the first time. We carry out medical examination of children of various ages, including newborns,” Head Doctor Vyacheslav Izhakovsky said. The new equipment allows looking at a mucous membrane, intestinal villus, and all pathological changes like under the microscope and recording videos of all procedures. The hospital performs at least ten examinations a day with this equipment. According to Vyacheslav Izhakovsky, in January-October 2019, the endoscopy unit carried out over 3,300 examinations and more than 100 procedures to pull out foreign bodies from children's airways.
The hospital started to cooperate with Japan under the Grassroots program in 2009, Vyacheslav Izhakovsky said. Since then, three large-scale projects have been implemented. In line with them, the hospital received a system for endoscopy to examine toddlers and improved methods of functional diagnostics. The current project has helped fully equip the endoscopy unit of the hospital.
Gomel Oblast Vice Governor Vladimir Privalov thanked the Japanese government and the Japanese Embassy in Belarus for their assistance. “This is an investment in people's health,”he said. Vladimir Privalov also stressed that the Belarusian government keeps a close eye on the development of healthcare in the country. “This helps influence the demographic situation in the region. According to preliminary data, in January-October 2019, the infant mortality rate was at 2.6 deaths per 1,000 live births, the same as in the EU countries and lower than in the CIS,” Vladimir Privalov noted.
Khoiniki District and Kalinkovichi District will also host handover ceremonies. Khoiniki Central District Hospital received $60,450 for a bronchoscope and a colonoscope. Kalinkovichi Central District Hospital used its $76,350 grant to buy a gastroscope. Hiroki Tokunaga noted that Japan and Belarus plan to expand the scope of the program and implement projects not only in healthcare, but also in social security and education.