Gov’t to develop stem cell, immunotherapy services in Guyana

Recognising that stem cell and immunotherapy are very beneficial, the government is aiming to pioneer Guyana as a hub for these services in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony made the disclosure recently as he noted that Guyana is now moving towards precision medicine.

Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony

Stem cell replaces bone marrow cells that were lost due to high doses of radiation therapy, while immunotherapy is the treatment that works with your body’s immune system to help fight cancer cells.

“We as a government, we recognise that this is going to be a potential for growth and we want to be one of the places in the Caribbean, and for that matter, in Latin America where we can be pioneering this type of technology,” Minister Anthony disclosed.

He assured that government will create an enabling environment for these types of services to be developed locally.

Already, the Human Organ and Tissue Transplant Act of 2022, which caters for regenerative medicine including stem cells was passed in the National Assembly last year.

“We’ve started with the legislation and we’ll do whatever else is necessary to make sure that this is done properly in Guyana. It would not only be for our patients locally but patients would want to come to Guyana to be able to get this form of therapy,” the minister highlighted.

Minister Anthony commended the Woodlands Hospital for taking the first step in bringing stem cell services here.

“We’ve also had a number of persons coming to us, wanting to establish labs here to manufacture stem cells and do other innovative things. I think people are recognising that Guyana is ready for this type of medicine.”

Dr Anthony explained that the government will continue to use innovative technology to improve the healthcare system in Guyana.

“To use the president’s terms, he said he wanted a world-class healthcare system here in Guyana …That is not beyond us, that is something that we can easily achieve once we putour minds to it,” the health minister asserted.