MoPH ensuring measures in place against outbreaks, illness

– as Venezuelan migrants continue to arrive

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, September 19, 2018

On Tuesday, Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings visited villages in the Mabaruma sub-region where Venezuelan migrants are currently residing. The main purpose of her trip was to ascertain the efficacy of health services being delivered to them.

The Minister also sought to ensure that local health authorities in Region One have the necessary protective and preventative measures in place against possible outbreaks, guarding the local population especially pregnant women and children from deadly illnesses and diseases.

Taking into consideration Guyana’s porous borders and multiple cross-over points between the two countries, Minister Cummings explained it is important that Region One is prepared and equipped to deal with eventualities of the continuous arrival of Venezuelan migrants.

The minister’s first engagement was at Khan Hill, Mabaruma where approximately 103 indigenous Venezuelans are staying. There she met with Mabaruma’s Mayor Henry Smith and Town Clerk Barrington Wade. The officials said the town council is working closely with the task force to better house and provide for these migrants.

The Venezuelan migrants are mainly of Warrau heritage. Due to this, the town council is exploring the option of developing five acres of Warrau lands as they are temporarily occupying residential lands and other reserves.

In Smyth’s Creek, along the Barima River, there is an increase in arrival of migrants seeking refuge, living space and food.

As this riverine community continues to see an influx of persons, the construction of shed-like structures (benabs) where families are housed, continues. The last recorded number of persons in the Smyth’s Creek village was 80.

Delicia Haynes

Images: Anil Seelall