Doctor deployed; medical outreaches for Monkey Mountain

─ following a visit by Ministers of Public Health and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs

DPI, Guyana, Sunday, October 27, 2019

Several issues in the Region 8 community of Monkey Mountain have been addressed. The Minister of Public Health, Hon. Volda Lawrence and Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Hon. Valerie Garrido-Lowe visited the region recently.

During the visit, Senior Health Worker, Ediouldo Juan, who works at a health post in the region, requested for a doctor be stationed in the area. Juan also asked for transportation to be provided for emergency patients and to be able to conduct home visits. Further, he made it known that there’s a need for an improved communication system between the regional administration and the village, among other things.

Minister Lawrence explained that there is a budgeted upgrade for the health post scheduled in 2020. As part of the upgrade, the ministry has committed to ensuring that an ATV is purchased and assigned to the Monkey Mountain Health post. Further, taking into consideration the 900+ population in the village, there is a short-term system in place for a doctor to be deployed to work in the community for the remainder of the year. This will be done as the ministry develops a long-term solution.

“We are going to send up a health team here on Thursday [Oct. 31], and Friday [Nov. 1]. So, ensure that everyone knows and they come to do all the necessary medical checks. Next month, we will send in two doctors temporarily until we can work out something more long term.” Minister Lawrence posited.

The Public Health Minister also pointed out the need for the Regional administration, which manages the health budget, to prioritise health matters to reduce the gaps which currently exist.

“We committed, in 2015, to putting all our energies towards the development of the people of Guyana… and that is what we will continue to do especially with healthcare,” the Public Health Minister assured.

A resident, Hampton King was among many others who welcomed the news of the waiving of the qualification requirements for entry into public health training programmes for young Indigenous people. He noted that this will allow more young people to return and give back to the community.

“I must say that I am happy to hear that there will be job opportunities because we would want to see our youths and our children that left secondary school to have the chance to apply to work within this health system because we know a lot of youths would want to but are discouraged by their grades.”

Addressing the issue of accommodation for hinterland persons at the Hostel in Georgetown, Minister Garrido-Lowe disclosed that several changes have been made to the building over time by the government.

“We have started to make improvements at the hostel in Georgetown with the addition of the new wing, and we will have a furnished room for a night nurse who will help to look after patients since it has been pointed out that it is difficult for persons with health-related illnesses to be attended to,” Minister Garrido-Lowe explained.

To this end, Minister Lawrence committed to providing four patient care assistants. The personnel will provide aftercare services to recovering patients who will be staying at the hostel. She noted that an additional ten would be provided in 2020 to facilitate a shift system for more efficient delivery of service.

Both ministers reiterated the fact the Coalition administration is working to close all gaps that exist between the hinterland and coast.