MOPH kicks of Victoria ‘Indaba’ with medical outreach

GINA, GUYANA, Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The Ministry of Public Health hosted a medical health outreach today, in Victoria, East Coast Demerara, offering services including education on food policy, mental health awareness, screening for breast and cervical cancer and eye testing.

Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings giving brief remarks at the medical outreach at Victoria

Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings giving brief remarks at the medical outreach at Victoria

The outreach was spearheaded by Minister within the Ministry of Public Health and villager, Dr. Karen Cummings who delivered brief remarks at the formal ceremony. “Every programme within the Ministry of Public Health is working to deliver high standards and best quality health care to each person living in Guyana. I must emphasise that it remains a national priority for the government through the Ministry of Public Health to ensure that the finest quality healthcare is offered to, and received by every Guyanese.”

Minister Cummings’ speech was centered on the impacts and effects of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and how the Ministry of Public Health will go about addressing them. The Public Health Ministry has adopted policies that will promote healthy eating and discourage smoking and reshape the social consciousness of NCDs.

An Indaba in the African tradition is called when there is a perceived crisis or

A Victoria resident benefitting from blood pressure testing at the medical outreach

A Victoria resident benefitting from blood pressure testing at the medical outreach

a need that requires the village’s attention. Senior member of the Victoria Reconstruction Trust, Burnham Poole explained that prior to the village’s hosting of Indaba “hope was dying” in the village. Health care provision is one of the services that had been neglected.

The outreach sought to address a target population of villagers who have not been able to readily access health care, since the health centre in the village is never opened on a regular basis. Persons seeking medical services including pregnant women, and those with young children often travel to other nearby villages to access medical attention.

Minister Cummings assured the gathering that they will soon benefit from the services of a resident doctor. “I can assure you that the Ministry of Public Health will see that this health centre (Victoria) can be opened every day and there will be a doctor here every day.”

The medical outreach to Victoria will assist a number of persons who would usually travel to the Dr. C.C Nicholson Hospital in Nabacalis and others who are unable to travel to access health care.

Residents of Victoria, East Coast Demerara gathered at the opening ceremony of the medical outreach

Residents of Victoria, East Coast Demerara gathered at the opening ceremony of the medical outreach

The villagers had an opportunity to participate in a number of health screening services thereby having an overall idea of their health status. Additionally, they were taught how to foster a healthier lifestyle.

Indaba is of African language and is translated, ‘The meeting of Village leaders’. In Guyana, Indaba is observed as the ‘First Village Indaba’ and it is in its fourth year. This year the Indaba or conference will be celebrated under the theme ‘Reconstruction: after historical devastations; spiritual deterioration; family disintegration and education decline.’

Poole explained, “that we see November 7, that date as a posthumous honorific bestowal on our ancestors who received the transports for the purchase of  Plantation Northbrook, and thereafter implemented a local government code for the management of the village which they named after Queen Victoria.”

Indaba observances will officially begin tomorrow, and continue with an agricultural fair and exhibition, climate change workshop, family fun day and the inaugural launch of the National Day of Villages at which His Excellency; David Granger will be giving the feature address.

At the closing ceremony, there will be the launch of two commemorative stamps depicting the exodus of former enslaved persons from the plantations and the purchase of their first village.

 

By: Delicia Haynes

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