Health Dept. buys 2 mobile clinics at $736K to reach earthquake-ravaged towns
The Puerto Rico Health Department announced the acquisition of two mobile units at a combined cost of $736,000 that will temporarily replace the WIC clinics that have been unable to reopen after being seriously affected by the earthquakes in the south.
The 37-foot mobile clinics have areas for anthropometric measurements, breastfeeding, food demonstration, space to evaluate participants, a bathroom and a television to offer nutrition education and entertain children while they wait for their turn.
“Although WIC participants continue to receive services remotely and their checks are received in the mail, these units have arrived at the right time,” said the director of WIC in Puerto Rico, Jeanette Canino, explaining that because of the earthquakes that shook the island’s southern region, services offered in the WIC clinics of Guánica, Yauco and Guayanilla had to move to adjacent towns like Peñuelas and Ponce.
“This acquisition is very important for the Health Department because nutrition services offered by WIC help us to guarantee the health of our pregnant women, infants and children, which results in prevention and fewer health conditions in the midst of a pandemic such as that of COVID-19,” she said.
In addition to rolling out the new vehicles, the Health Department also inaugurated the WIC program’s new 4,600 square-foot facilities in Caguas, which were relocated at a cost of $180,000 — an allocation received through the federal disaster relief programs established after Hurricanes Irma and María plowed through Puerto Rico in September 2017.
Another $160,000 in disaster relief funds were used to buy two trucks to transport equipment and materials to 87 WIC clinics across Puerto Rico,” Canino said.
Puerto Rico’s WIC program currently serves some 105,000 participating pregnant women, infants and children.