The new facility was commissioned and renamed the Sylvia Garnette Primary Health Care Facility during a special ceremony on Thursday, June 25, at Station Street, Tabernacle. The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister and Parliamentary Representative for Tabernacle, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, and other members of the Team Unity Cabinet including Minister of Health, the Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett, and the Honourable Jonel Powell.
Also in attendance were immediate past Health Ministers, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton and Senator the Honourable Wendy Phipps; senior level government officials including permanent secretaries and heads of departments; Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), His Excellency Tom Lee; members of the nursing and medical fraternity, family of honouree Nurse Sylvia Garnette and residents of Tabernacle village and surrounding villages.
Delivering remarks at Thursday’s ceremony, Minister Byron-Nisbett commented on the new, high quality services that are now available at the primary healthcare facility.
“The services will include, but are not limited to, child health and immunization…antenatal and postnatal services, family planning, chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension management and district medical officer consultations, school health, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment and homecare for shut-ins. Those are just a few of the programmes and services that are available,” said the Minister of Health, while noting that these programmes will be expanded to promote even greater healthcare services for the people.
Prime Minister Harris, who hails from the village of Tabernacle, said the commissioning of the new healthcare facility is further proof of his government’s commitment to the delivery of effective primary healthcare to its people.
Dr. Harris was also in high praise for the honouree of Thursday’s ceremony. He said, “I feel especially good to know that someone who laboured long and hard in the health sector is today being honoured by having this facility bearing her name, and that person…is none other than Nurse Sylvia Garnette. I want to thank her for her excellence. This British trained registered nurse and midwife excelled in the delivery of health services in our health centers in Tabernacle, Molineux, Cayon et cetera, and eventually as the Matron at the JNF Hospital. We want to give her thanks and give God thanks for using her in this particular area.
Born in the village of Tabernacle, Mrs. Garnette had a long and illustrious career in the field of nursing. She served as District Midwife for the Tabernacle area; Public Health Nurse at the health centre in Cayon, Family Planning Administrator; Assistant Matron at the Joseph N. France (JNF) General Hospital, and in 1987 she was promoted to the post of Matron at the General Hospital.
In 2016, Mrs. Sylvia Garnette was the recipient of the Medal of Honour (MH) for her contribution to Nursing in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.