Action plan developed to stem gastro outbreaks in Region 1

Georgetown GINA, June 02, 2016

An integrated action plan has been developed to treat the outbreak of gastroenteritis in the community of Baramita, Region One. Director of Regional Health Services (RHS) Dr. Kay Shako told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that the plan was developed with help from residents of Baramita, Regional Authorities and the Ministry of Public Health.

“The situation remains a major concern for the region and continues to be kept under close watch,” Dr. Shako said.

There is also an increase of public education on hygiene, sanitation including hand washing, sealed pit latrine, adequate garbage disposal, safe drinkable water, frequent water sample testing, adequate source of water supply along with the use of collapsible water bags.

Dr. Shako added that along with the plan, regular monitoring and evaluation will be done by local health care providers as well as officials of the Ministry to ensure that the community is complying with the health care plan.

“The outbreak of gastroenteritis in the community of Baramita in December 2015 attracted much public attention with mixed views. However, according to information divulged by the residents, Baramita was always plagued with Gastroenteritis, but the condition escalated,” the Director of Regional Health Services said.

Noting that traditional health practices and behaviours also contribute to the situation, Dr. Shako added that the community is also grappling with social determinants of health which seem to be widespread across all racial divide and a shortage of water.

“More attention from the region and health care authorities, government and non-governmental organisations as well as faith based organisations needs to be directed to Baramita in the future, if a positive change is anticipated,” Shako said.

Meanwhile, the Director said that “based on reports and checking done yesterday, there has so far been no reported cases (of gastroenteritis) in the City or at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).


The table below shows the types of gastroenteritis cases in Baramita from the period of May 05-10th, 2016.

TYPE NO. Cases Percentage
MALE 15  
<5 YEARS 18 48.6% OF TOTAL A.G. E
>5 YEARS 19 51.4%


For the period May 11-30, 21 male and 25 female cases were reported. These are broken down to: Diarrhoea 16, Vomiting 7, Diarrhoea and vomiting 18 and, Bloody diarrhoea 5.


Of these, the under five years age range accounted for 14 persons and the over five years age range accounted for 18 persons. The remaining 14 were adults. These patients were from Barama Line, Return, Golden City and Log Hill.


Meanwhile, the Director of Regional Health Services sought to clear the air on reports of a family having to air-dash a baby out of Wax Creek in the Mazaruni.

Dr. Shako told GINA that since May 18, 2016, Nellis Williams, the Community Health Worker (CHW) attached to the Wax Creek Health Post was reported to have left the Post to travel to Georgetown but has not contacted the health authorities and checks at the Amerindian Hostel revealed that the family is not staying at the hostel.

She said that the doctors in Kamarang would have already sent in another CHW to work in the community.

Dr. Shako pointed out that the radio set at the Wax Creek Health Post is in working condition and the Kamarang Hospital is in daily contact with the centre. There is no report of an outbreak of gastroenteritis in the village. “Currently there is a (one) child who the CHW is sending out to Kamarang with gastroenteritis.” Dr. Shako said.

Further, the Director noted that there is no drug shortage at the health post. However, there are a few items which the current CHW has indicated is running low. “These items have been packed and will be sent up with the first boat in the area. These include, Panadol 500mg, Ibuprofen 400mg, Flagyl suspension, Cotrimoxazole suspension, NS, RL, Amoxil Suspension, Diclofenac 50mg, intracats and infusion sets,” she said.




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