Eastern Caribbean

About the Eastern Caribbean

The Eastern Caribbean is comprised of 7 Caribbean Island nations, from Anguilla and Antigua to the north to St. Vincent and Grenada to the south. These countries are known for their laid back life-style, friendly people and an abundance of beautiful beaches surrounded by turquoise waters. While the climate is ideal year round for vacationers worldwide, everyday life for the indigenous population is a stark contrast to the tourist experience. The economic dependence on tourism and to a lesser extent agriculture doesn’t fully employ the population with high unemployment especially for women and young adults. Furthermore, the dependency upon imports especially food and fuel drive up everyday living costs. 
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The Need

While primary healthcare is widely available throughout the Eastern Caribbean countries, advanced pediatric specialty care is not. Small population size, challenging economic resources and island geography of the region limit access to advanced medical care especially pediatric specialty care. Children of the region require access to a full array of pediatric specialists, with cardiac and orthopedic diagnostic and surgical care in highest demand.

How World Pediatric Project Helps

World Pediatric Project launched the Eastern Caribbean Initiative (ECI) more than a decade ago to centralize pediatric critical care services for the children in the region at Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in Kingstown, St. Vincent. WPP works alongside medical and government sectors throughout the Eastern Caribbean to make advanced pediatric specialty care available to children through WPP pediatric specialist diagnostic and surgery teams traveling to St. Vincent year round.

To date, this hub approach for WPP’s international teams and U.S. Referral program has mobilized nearly $48 million dollars in in-kind specialty care, benefiting an estimated 7,000 children.
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Mobilization of Surgical, Diagnostic & Medical Specialty Teams

WPP mobilizes pediatric specialty teams addressing the full spectrum of advanced medical care for children throughout the Eastern Caribbean. 

 WPP teams currently scheduled to travel to the Eastern Caribbean include:
  • General surgery
  • Reconstructive/ plastic surgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Diagnostic Cardiology
  • Urology
  • Orthopedic Surgery

Patient Referral Program

For patients requiring more complex or urgent surgical care, WPP coordinates treatment through a network of United States and international partner hospitals. Approximately 40 children from the Eastern Caribbean receive services through this program each year.

Children of the Eastern Caribbean: Jadiel, age 7, Orthopedic (Hip and Leg Lengthening)
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7-year-old Jadiel underwent a 5-hour surgery called a “SUPERhip” with the annual St. Vincent Orthopedic team in the spring of 2017. This hip reconstruction surgery entails a combination of surgical procedures designed to compre-hensively address and correct severe bone and soft tissue deformities. Jadiel will have surgery with WPP’s September orthopedic team to remove the hardware placed, then in early 2018 come to St. Louis Shriners Hospital for leg lengthen-ing surgery and treatment.

Training Programs

Training programs build indigenous capacity and infrastructure needed for a brighter and healthier future for children.  Current programs in the Eastern Caribbean include:
  •  Newborn skills training for healthcare  and clinic personnel to respond to newborn urgent care needs
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit personnel skill building and training and infrastructure improvement

Partnerships in the Eastern Caribbean

  • Ministries of Health
  • Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
  • Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)
  • Rotary International
  • United States Embassy