Health Ministry, US medical team partner to perform surgeries, dental operations

The United States (US) Lesser Antilles Medical Assistance Team (LAMAT) has partnered with the Health Ministry to perform medical operations and engage in professional knowledge exchanges.

LAMAT Biomedical Equipment Technician, Master Sgt. Timothy McClelland receives a tour of the emergency department at GPHC

The series of medical interventions will run from February 20 to March 3 and forms part of the US Southern Command’s (USSOUTHCOM’s) Enduring Promise mission.

With a team of approximately 29 US Army medical and dental professionals and other support staff, LAMAT will provide free general surgery, emergency room and dental care at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and West Demerara Regional Hospital.

Deputy Director for Regional Health Services at the Ministry of Health, Dr Veronica Griffith expressed excitement about developing the military-civilian partnership between the US team and Guyana’s medical professionals.

LAMAT’s operations have been coordinated with the health ministry and hospital medical directors, to take advantage of additional operating room capacity without displacing medical providers.

US medical professionals will work with local doctors to ensure continuity of care following all surgical procedures.

The team brought the medicines and supplies necessary for the operations and will leave surplus supplies with the hospital. Approximately $44 million (USD $225,000) of supplies are being donated to medical facilities.

Patients are selected in coordination with hospital medical directors, based on the types of surgeries and procedures the US medical team is certified to perform; primarily GI surgeries such as hernias and cyst excisions.

The US dental team will focus on treating underserved populations, concentrating on cleaning, fillings, extractions and preventative care.

“My team is humbled to have been invited by the Ministry of Health and US Ambassador to Guyana to participate in this much-needed operation,” said Lt. Col. Gentry Mobley, LAMAT Mission Commander.

“It is important to the US to provide whatever help we can to take care of people in need. Our team is prepared to engage in Guyana, whether that be in the operating theatre, the dental clinic, helping with the emergency room or experiencing the culture,” he added.

In addition to Guyana, the LAMAT team completed operations in Suriname and will proceed to St. Lucia to conduct medical assistance operations, providing relief to overwhelmed medical facilities and improving the region’s collective ability to meet complex global challenges.