Long awaited ‘River Ambulance’ for Orealla-Siparuta commissioned

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─ “Just the beginning of series of health sector upgrades for villages” – Min. Lawrence 

DPI, Guyana, Friday, October 12, 2018

A water ambulance, equipped with an engine and all accessories, was commissioned and handed over to the Orealla-Siparuta village council on Thursday.

The acquisition of the ambulance, costing $22.4M, is a major achievement for the Region Six Regional Health Administration (RHA) since residents have been anticipating its arrival and use, for two communities, for some time.

Village Councillor, George Penuex recorded the acquisition of the water ambulance, which is a boat used for emergency medical care, as “history in the making”. He recalled Orealla not being one of the villages to be considered for the state-of-the-art ‘River Ambulance’.

“We had never had this, in 23 years of the previous government. We have nothing significant to show. Now, we see that the government is helping, not only Orealla but it’s the entire country. I am glad Orealla is no exception.”

This water ambulance will become essential to the need of transporting emergency cases from Siparuta to Orealla and from Orealla to Skeldon for further medical treatment if required.

According to Regional Biomedical Technician, Tewanna Adonis, the ambulance is well equipped with a stretcher, multi-parameter patient monitor and pulse oximeter, echocardiogram leads, blood pressure monitor, thermometer, suction pump with cylinders and tubes, glucose monitor, test strips, among other pieces of essential equipment.

Before commissioning the vessel, Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence told residents that it is just the beginning of a continuous series of upgrades to the communities’ health sector.

“The river ambulance is just about one of the services that we would like to provide to not only Siparuta and Orealla but also to all our hinterland communities. We are currently reviewing all of our health facilities to see what upgrade we need to provide to these health facilities so that we can offer more services.”

She explained that this is more than just the handing over and commissioning of a water ambulance. Rather, she considers it a life-saving investment from taxpayer earnings to the riverine communities in the Corentyne River.

While this is the case, the minister added that the ministry and the Regional Health Authority of Region Six plan to upgrade Orealla’s Health Centre to effectively deal with emergency cases.

Lynley Herman, a resident and village official elatedly said, “I know that this 100 per cent for Orealla and Siparuta and I am really glad about it, this says a lot about what more the government can do for us”.

Meanwhile, Deputy Toshao, Randy Herman noted that this is the first of its kind for the village and he urged residents to claim ownership of the vessel.

“You people must have a watchful eye over this vessel, it must be treated with care at all times because at any one day any one of us would have to use it, so please, my people, take care of it, be proud of it.”

By: Delicia Haynes.

Images: Anil Seelall.