Mashabo, Bethany residents benefit from specialised medical outreach

Health Ministry monitoring cases of dengue fever

Residents of the riverine communities, Mashabo and Bethany, Region Two today, benefitted from a specialised medical outreach conducted by the Ministry of Health, as part of the government’s continued efforts to make healthcare accessible to all citizens.

The outreach was led by the Ministry’s Director-General, Dr. Vishwa Mahadeo, who along with a team of doctors and specialists provided services including dentistry, eye care, and general and laboratory testing.

Director-General, Ministry of Health, Dr. Vishwa Mahadeo along with doctors and specialists at the Bethany Health Centre

The first stop was at Bethany, which is located three miles up the Supenaam River and has a population of over 600 persons. There, the residents turned out in their numbers at the community’s health post to benefit from the various specialised services.

The team then moved to Mashabo village, Essequibo Coast, where another large number of residents took advantage of the dental and laboratory services.

Director-General, Ministry of Health, Dr. Vishwa Mahadeo meeting with a patient at Bethany

Dr. Mahadeo deemed the outreach a success as a number of residents were able to benefit from the services that they would usually have to travel miles to the Suddie Regional Hospital to access.

However, he said that a number of cases of dengue fever were detected in both communities- six in Mashabo and one in Bethany. These cases were reported immediately to the Ministry of Health and the Region Two administration for further monitoring and evaluation.

“Additional actions will have to be taken…dengue is a condition that we need to pay attention to and so far, we have identified seven cases in Bethany and Mashabo. None of them showed any serious signs and symptoms, however we will be following them up,” the director general noted.

Deputy Director of Regional Health Services, Dr. Veronica Griffith meeting with a patient at the Bethany Health Centre

In the area of eyecare, Dr. Mahadeo informed that some 60 persons from the region are in the process of undergoing cataract surgery at the National Ophthalmology Hospital. Those persons identified for the surgery by the optometrist during the outreach, will be added to the list.

“The patients are being transported at the cost of the government to the National Ophthalmology Hospital. They will get their surgeries done, and make sure they are okay and then we transport them back to Region Two.”

The medical outreach started in September 2020 based on a directive from His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali. The intention is to ensure the residents in the outlying areas are receiving equitable and reliable healthcare.

A resident having her tooth extracted by the dental surgeon

“The whole idea is not only that we identify issues, but we deal with it and where necessary, we provide all the necessary actions including transportation, transporting the patients, taking care of the medicines, bringing them back home and following up on them,” Dr. Mahadeo said.

Romona Thomas, the midwife attached to the Bethany Health Post, welcomed the outreach, noting that it will ease the burden of persons having to travel to Suddie for those specialised services.

“We will always welcome these outreaches because it is very effective,” she stated.

Thomas said that she sees about three to four patients per day. Among the services provided are outpatient, adolescent and preschool, family and home visits two days per week.

Meanwhile, the Mashabo Community Health Worker, Faye Hendricks, said that the health post, which was established in 2013 offers services including, chronic diseases care, infant, preschool and antenatal clinic.

She also thanked the ministry and the region for the continued visits to provide those services that the health facility cannot. Last year April, the ministry held a three-day outreach in St. Deny’s Mission, Mainstay/Whyaka and Capoey on the Essequibo Coast. Doctors from within the region are also dispatched to the communities on a monthly basis to provide similar services.