MOH, Indian High Commission & PAHO wrap-up COVID-19 clinical management project

In June 2020, the Ministry of Health in partnership with the Indian High Commission, PAHO/WHO and the United Nations gave the green-light for a project geared at supporting the Ministry in ensuring adequate provision of intensive care medical equipment for improved COVID-19 patient care. Through this initiative, the Health Ministry was able to procure much needed medical supplies including ventilators, face-shields, goggles, gowns, masks (medical, N95 and KN95) and gloves.

This project which spanned the period June to December 2020, was aimed at ensuring the improvement of survival rates among COVID-19 infected patients by providing timely access to quality intensive care services while at the same time reducing the risk of infection among health workers. The Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, High Commissioner of India, H.E. Dr. K.J. Srinivasa and PAHO/WHO Country Representative, Dr. Luis Codina signed the close of project documents today.

In his remarks, the Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony expressed immense gratitude to the Government and People of India, on behalf of the Government and People of Guyana, for providing the US $1M through its Quick Impact Development Project which made this project a success. While acknowledging the tremendous impact the support gave, the Minister of Health noted that “the donation really made a big difference in the way we were able to respond to COVID at all levels of our system.”

Prior to this donation there were 4 ventilators at the GPHC’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU); following India’s donation, Guyana was able to secure over 35 additional ventilators which were placed at the COVID-19 ICU at Liliendaal and the Regional Hospitals.

Dr. Anthony recognized that with support from PAHO/WHO the country was able to source key medical supplies in a period of high demand. “They have been really steadfast partners through all of this, because they have been able to administer the grant in a most efficient manner… when things on the global market were difficult to access, they’ve been able to use their network to leverage very scarce items, and to get it to us in a timely manner,” the Minister highlighted.  

In his remarks, High Commissioner of India, H.E. Dr. K.J. Srinivasa underscored that the donation to Guyana to combat COVID is part of India’s worldwide efforts to assist their friendly countries.

 “I’m very happy that this project was completed in a short duration of time, from the time of announcing it in June till the completion in December. I must thank PAHO and the Government of Guyana for having facilitated the fast movement of all the equipment, and also for ensuring that these equipment have been reaching out to the hospitals,” he emphasized.

While reflecting on the project, Dr. Srinivasa recognized that the support has enabled Guyana to spread the safety net across all the regions; in irrespective of location Guyanese can access intensive care outside of the GPHC.

PAHO/WHO Country Representative, Dr. Luis Codina noted that the timeliness of the donation which boosted Guyana’s COVID-19 response.

He noted that this is just the beginning of efforts which is followed by WHO’s approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine developed by India’s Serum Institute. Dr. Codina indicated that the Institute is well-known for producing more than two billion vaccines, yearly, for children and adolescents.

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