Narrowing the gaps

– specialised health services brought to Monkey Mountain

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, November 2, 2019

Over the last two days (October 31 – November 1) many persons in the village of Monkey Mountain took advantage of specialised health services provided by a medical team deployed to the Region 8 community.

This follows a commitment made a week ago by the Public Health Minister, Hon. Volda Lawrence, to have a health team visit the area.

The minister noted the health needs of the residents to have screenings and general medical check-ups, and the necessity for a paediatrician to tend to the health needs of the village’s large population under 14.

Residents, who accessed the much-needed services over the two days, expressed their satisfaction with the level of service rendered.

Norman Juan is a cleaner at the health post. He shared his view with the Department of Public Information’s (DPI) team who also visited the village.

“I am very glad about what is happening here [with the medical outreach] after so long. We haven’t [had] doctors or any medical personnel of that sort [in the village]; it was just the two health workers [who were stationed in the village], and they are trying their best, but these doctors are here [at this outreach] with all the medications that we would need,” relayed Juan.

The Community Development Officer (CDO) Matheson Williams also shared his view. “It’s good that they [the doctors] are here because we have a lot of illnesses and ailments here that go unmonitored… A few weeks ago, we had several suspected cases of dengue, [and] with the doctors here; they can confirm it [with their assessments].”

Eye care, as well as gynaecology, were the most sought after services. Close to 100 women saw the Gynecologist, specifically for birth control implants, while others opted for regular checks-ups.

Over in the eye care section, the Optometrist, Carla Cassiano said she saw approximately 150 persons. “We did screening for eye diseases, like cataract, glaucoma, pterygium and refractive errors and what we brought with us was reading glasses, which we gave out to the patients [who] require,” she explained.

The paediatrician, on the team of doctors, was able to treat about 60 children with varying skin infections, among others.

In the area of dental care, Director of Dental Services, Dr. Kester Sullivan worked along with the Dentex of the village and saw mostly children from the primary school. He relayed that while there were hardly any children with ‘bad teeth’, there was a need to emphasise ‘proper oral health care’, as the children are in the stages of losing their baby teeth, which are being replaced with permanent ones.

The medial outreach was a step in the right direction, according to the Senior Health Worker of the Health Post, Ediouldo Juan, who commended the timely response. “I was worried because, at times, there were constraints in this community, but then after making the request, I am happy to see the time in which I am seeing development and more support.”

On the second day of the medical team’s visit, First Lady, Her Excellency, Sandra Granger, handed over an ATV to the village.

The purpose of the vehicle is to assist the staff at the health post. Other items were also handed over, which will contribute significantly to the lives of the residents.

The medical outreach is said to be the first of its kind to the village since specialised medical services are mostly available at Mahdia. The village, which only has a health post, does not have a doctor stationed permanently, and as such, the Public Health Ministry has since seen it fit to have the medical team visit.

Continued outreaches will follow this action, as the ministry will station a doctor at the health facility. A series of planned upgrades and expansion for the health facility are in the pipeline for the village.