Medical outreaches restart in Region Nine

– enhanced home care services for the elderly, persons with disabilities

Residents in the various sub-districts of the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo (Region Nine) area – Aishalton, Annai, Sand Creek and Lethem Central – are receiving enhanced mobile health services.

This is a result of the Regional Health Authority restart of its Medical Outreach Programme. The programme was put on hold in the early days of the Covid pandemic.

Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr. Nial Uthman told DPI additional services were made available when the programme restarted recently. 

“The Medical Outreach Programme, this is not just the outreaches that I would do or a doctor from the district would do, but instead a general outreach where the entire health team is involved. You have a doctor on board, you have eye care on board, dental services, rehabilitation on board, you have environmental, the vector control department, the Mother and Child Health, (MCH) department, so we carry the entire team, and we are able to take health services to the people,” Dr. Uthman said.

Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr. Nial Uthman

He added that one very important component of the new programme will be the home visits to people who are not physically able to move around.

“If they are not able to come to the health facility, we are able to reach them; take medications, do their physiotherapy at home and whatever else they need that we can provide. That is a great achievement for us,” the RHO said.

On the topic of infrastructural upgrades, Dr. Uthman said the electrical system at the Aishalton District Hospital was 0verhauled while a new generator system is to be installed this year to enhance the facility’s work. More equipment and furnishing are also to be added.

 “So, Aishalton is setup to take off,” Dr. Uthman stated. 

Meanwhile, the electrical system at the Lethem Regional Hospital was also upgraded so a new Digital X-Ray Unit received in 2019 could be installed.

“This is a big achievement for us because I believe we’re the second facility in Guyana to achieve this feat. So now we are no longer dealing with x-ray films and other consumables. This reduces the waiting time for patients dramatically or drastically, and puts us in a position to do telemedicine as well,” the RHO noted.

“We’ve been able to introduce ultrasound services on a daily basis, Monday through Friday and on weekends for on call purposes. So, we have that service going and some of the other things we’ve been able to do are in terms of building capacity for the doctors. We have a new doctor’s quarters in the Lethem hospital compound.”

Dr. Uthman said at the Aishalton District Hospital, dental quarters have been set up. At the Annai Health Centre, some remedial works have been done and communication has enhanced between the various health facilities.

“One of the critical things because of Region Nine and its topography and its communication, we’ve been able to install internet services and all of the main facilities that would be Annai Health Centre, Aishalton Hospital, Sand Creek Health Centre and Karasabai Health Centre, so that they can now give us real time information in Lethem, they can send the reports. We can do telemedicine, they can report live on patients that we would like to treat, as well as get feedback from us as well.”

Dr. Uthman said even as the Region deals with the challenges of the pandemic, it is slowly returning to its usual services to the people of Region Nine.