Saint Vincent & the Grenadines

About St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Comprised of the main island, St. Vincent, and a chain of 32 smaller islands called the Grenadines, this southern Caribbean nation is known for idyllic beaches and relaxing island lifestyle. From yachting and snorkeling to hiking to the top of the La Soufriere Volcano, ecotourism plays a vital role in the economy and employment with 75% of Vincentians working in the service industry. Yet despite the growing tourism economy, annual per capita income is less than $8,000 a year, just one burgeoning indicator of this country’s economic and resource challenges. 
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The Need

In addition to economic challenges, the geographic separation of these islands and their small population challenge availability and accessibility to advanced medical care in the country.  The country’s main public hospital is located in St. Vincent and serves the general medical needs of the population, as well as pediatricians throughout the country to provide basic medical care to children.  Until recently, there was no pediatric surgeon working in the country to provide any access to advanced care needs. 

Diagnostic and surgical care is needed for all pediatric sub-specialties, but most of all for children suffering from many types of orthopedic conditions and congenital and acquired heart malformations.  St. Vincent and the Grenadines has a high incidence level of rheumatic fever, close to 200 times that of the United States, which can result in rheumatic heart disease if left untreated.  

How World Pediatric Project Helps

World Pediatric Project bridges this gap in access to advanced pediatric specialty care through diagnostic and surgical care outreach to hundreds of Eastern Caribbean children each year while providing ongoing training to indigenous healthcare workers on the frontlines of care for babies and children in the country.   
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International Teams

WPP teams currently scheduled to travel to St. Vincent 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 15 children from St. Vincent and the Grenadines receive services through this program each year.

Children of St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Hope, age 4, Orthopedic (Arthrogryposis)
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Hope is a rambunctious 4-year-old who World Pediatric Project met in the first week of her life when she was diagnosed with arthrogryposis and received her first surgery through our St. Vincent orthopedic surgery mission. This condition causes joint contractures, and, in Hope’s case, she has extreme stiffness in her wrists, elbows, knees and ankles. Her surgeries over the years by WPP’s annual team have given her family hope as they see her great progress. Her family was told by local physicians that Hope would be wheelchair bound, but with WPP’s help, she wowed the team this year with her new skill of standing, then took five steps!

Training Programs

Training programs build indigenous capacity and infrastructure needed for a brighter and healthier future for children.  Current programs in St. Vincent include:
  • Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Development and Training Program - WPP has developed a strategic plan to enhance the capacity of the NICU at Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in St. Vincent including training of local practitioners, advising on and assistance with acquisition of new equipment to advance care, and improvement in hospital procedures to reduce infection and improve patient care.
  • St. Vincent NICU Training and Enhancement Program -  As with so many developing countries, the tiniest and most fragile citizens of St. Vincent and the Grenadines need assistance.  Premature infants born in the country suffer unnecessarily as a result of insufficient hospital equipment and inadequate medical and nursing staff training.  WPP specialists advise and provide training to local Vincentian health workers, identify and acquire equipment necessary to advance care, and identify and improve hospital protocols to reduce infection and improve patient care. The program also includes regional and international training placements for local health workers as well as a custom data collection and analysis tool for tracking health outcomes in the unit.

Partnerships in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The effectiveness of WPP program implementation and outcomes is strengthened through partnerships both within the country and with other organizations elsewhere committed to the goal of improving access to pediatric specialist care for the children in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
  • Ministry of Health, Wellness & the Environment
  • Rotary Club of St. Vincent & the Grenadines South
  • Milton Cato Memorial Hospital 
  • Trinity School of Medicine
  • United Children of the World Fund 
  • Grenadines Partnership FUnd
  • David and Christian Anderson
  • Mustique Charitable Trust
  • Mustique Charitable Foundation
  • United States Embassy