ISGlobal Team Visit
GEORGETOWN, MOPH – THE United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has funded the first phase of ambitious programme between Guyana and the Global Health Institute of Barcelona (ISGlobal) to develop a mosquito-repelling device.
“It’s an exciting time and we are looking forward to working with you,” said Dr Karen Cummings, Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, when she met Wednesday with the ISGlobal team at her Brickdam, Georgetown office.
The team of three ISGlobal researchers are currently on a 5-day stay in Guyana to “assess the possibility of collaboration between Guyana and ISGlobal in the development of a prototype device to repel mosquitoes,” a statement said.
It said USAID has poured finances for activities to be conducted in phase one “and this includes development of the prototype device and to conduct several end-user surveys in Guyana so that it informs the development process.”
The USGlobal three-member team comprises entomologist, Dr Krijn Paajimans; Dr. Elisa Sicuri a Health Economist in Malaria and Dr Pablo Salazar a former Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) Regional Lab Supervisor.
Guyanese Dr Horace Cox, Director (ag) Vector Control Services, of the Public Health Ministry is its point-person in the initiative.
“This is a golden opportunity for us and through this partnership we could get to where we want. This is very promising,” Minister Cummings said during Wednesday’s talks with the team.
They were also scheduled to meet with PAHO/WHO officials later Wednesday.
The researchers want to gauge Guyanese feelings on the electromagnetic barrier (EMB) device to help “inform the development of the prototype” the statement said.
It said later a questionnaire will be designed and circulated widely here to “assess risk perception of the various mosquito-borne illnesses within the different regional settings”.
“In addition…the team has also committed to assisting in building the capacity of the entomological unit within Vector Control Services/Ministry of Public Health by helping with the training of the young team which has recently been assembled,” the release said.
It said ISGlobal is also prepared to advocate internationally for support for the local public health sector and has ask the MOPH to highlight key areas needing technical support “since their organisation has about 500 professionals at the research level with expertise inclusive of environmental health, economics and many others.”
“I believe it is a rare opportunity to be a bel to collaborate with researchers who are also looking to build capacity locally so as to have sustainable programmes,” Dr Cox said.
ISGlobal agenda is to “correct inequalities in the health status of the different populations of the world,” a statement on its website said.