High Commission of India fulfills promise… MOH receives items procured under US $1M assistance for COVID-19 response

– Support reflects good relations between Guyana and Indian

On August 19, the Health Ministry was officially allotted US $1M from the Quick Impact Development Project which is being implemented collaboratively by PAHO and UNDP. Under this assistance 29 ventilators, 4800 PPEs, 4799 masks, 4366 face shields, and a number of other medical supplies were handed to the Ministry of Health. In addition, the Government of India has provided 30,000 Hydroxychloroquine tablets to the Government of Guyana.

These life-changing medical supplies were handed over to the Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony by the High Commissioner of India, H.E. Dr. K.J.Srinivasa.

In his remarks, Dr. Srinivasa stated that Guyana’s proposal for assistance and collaboration for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic was processed under the India-United Nations Development Fund (UNDP), managed by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and the guidelines of the Sustainable Development Goals. Meanwhile, the implementation of the funding was done by UNDP, the Health Ministry and PAHO/WHO.

While speaking about the efforts made He also highlighted that India Vaccine Producers are working on COVID-19 trial vaccines. “We are expecting to see vaccines being produced in mass numbers by the first quarter of 2021. India is also keeping in mind that it will have to fulfill a commitment to its other developmental partners across the world and could supply part of the production of vaccines, and share it with the developing world”, Dr. Srinivasa said.

Minister Anthony, in his remarks, expressed his appreciation to the Government of India for their assistance in the COVID-19 response. He indicated that the medical supplies will be utilized by the GPHC which houses the COVID-19 intensive care unit. Appreciation was also extended to the PWR, Dr. William Adu-Krow for the instrumental role he played in supporting the COVID-19 response.

Dr. Anthony explained that while the hospital has competent doctors and nurses; they were providing care with limited resources.  “One of the critical areas is hospitalization…the GPHC has been at the fore-front of this response where there is a transition ward and an infectious ICU where a lot of the critical COVID patients would go,” Dr. Anthony stated. He added that the equipment would enable the medical team to perform life saving measures while ensuring the environment is ideal for care.

He further explained that the Government of India also intends to collaborate with the Government of Guyana as part of their US $17M line of credit to upgrade the three Regional Hospitals namely West Demerara Hospital, Suddie Hospital and Bartica Hospital.

“We are extremely grateful that we have re-energize the projects relating to the three Regional hospitals, to provide the right environment for good patient care. These are long standing institutions and they will take a lot of resources to modernize them”, Dr. Anthony explained. The Minister also indicated that with further assistance from the Government of India, the Health Ministry’s electronic medical records project will be streamlined.

GPHC CEO Ret. Brigadier George Lewis also thanked the Government and People of India for the medical supplies. He assured that the assurance that the equipment will be utilized with care and caution so as to ensure the best services are provided.  The CEO’s sentiments were echoed by Dr. Vishwa Mahadeo who recognized the two country’s long relationship.

PAHO/WHO Representative Dr. Jean Alexandre said that PAHO will continue to collaborate with the Guyana in the COVID-19 response. “We are pleased to be working with the India High Commission in support of the COVID-19 response and we look forward to future collaborations,” he said.

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