On 15 December 2016, St Augustine’s Medical Services (SAMS) was the happy recipient of a donation from the ‘Dollar a Day’ programme. The funds had been specifically earmarked to assist the institution in its purchase of the Grenada’s first hyperbaric chamber — a significant milestone for medicine in the country, and one which directly affects sectors of the tourism product.
As Grenada continues to increase its share and visibility in the ‘dive destination market’, the installation of the hyperbaric chamber by SAMS will establish a ‘value’ add incentive for the island’s dive shops and associated hotels, in further attracting dive enthusiasts to the island’s shores. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a well-established treatment for decompression sickness, a hazard of scuba diving.
Ian DaBreo, PRO for the Grenada Hotel & Tourism Association (GHTA), advised that the Tourism Enhancement Fund — previously known as the ‘Dollar a Day’ programme — asks the accommodation sector to encourage their guests to contribute US$1 per night of their stay, to the fund. “The ability to make this donation is directly due to the programme. It serves to establish the scope of activities and projects which have a direct and indirect effect on visitor numbers and our tourism product. We applaud the initiative taken by SAMS, which will also serve to elevate our status as a dive destination” stated Mr DaBreo.
Peter Fraser, Managing Director of Sandals LaSource Resort, which strongly encourages its guests to support the programme, was present to hand over the funds to Resident Physician, Dr Lutz Amechi.
“This acquisition has been on SAMS ‘wish list’ for quite some time. It will eliminate the need to send patients to neighbouring islands for the treatments which can take place by means of a hyperbaric chamber. We are very pleased that the GHTA, via the programme, has seen fit to donate funds to the purchase of the chamber. Although dive incidents may be first to come to mind, other conditions can also be treated by a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, such as serious infections, bubbles of air in your blood vessels, traumatic brain injuries (strokes), wounds that won’t heal as a result of diabetes, and burn injuries. So this is, in fact, also a significant step forward for the delivery of health care in Grenada” noted Dr Amechi.