Water Ambulance coming for Moruca sub region

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Moruca sub-region of Barima Waini is next in line to benefit from a river ambulance. This assurance was given by Minister of Public Health, Hon. Volda Lawrence who recently visited some villages in the sub-region.

Upon meeting with some residents and public health staff of Kumaka District Hospital (KDH), the minister heard of the difficulties to travel to access health facilities on the coast for emergency services.

It was noted that residents of Moruca are referred to the Suddie Regional Hospital since it is easier and cheaper to travel there instead of the Mabaruma Regional Hospital which is more time-consuming.

Minister of Public Health, Hon. Volda Lawrence greeting staff of the Kumaka District Hospital.

Minister Lawrence said before procuring the ambulance, specifications have to be taken into consideration.

“For us to move a patient from here (Kumaka) to Pomeroon, we don’t need just a boat, we need an ambulance that can manoeuvre through the waters… when I was coming in, I saw the challenges that might be encountered when taking an accident patient to Charity [wharf].”

Following inquiries from the staff of the KDH, the minister clarified that there was a vessel being considered for the sub-region but procurement and standards department at the Health Ministry found that it would not have been suitable for the waterways heading in and out of the Moruca River from the Atlantic Ocean connect to the Pomeroon.

Manager of the ministry’s recently established procurement unit, Seewchan said: “The procurement of the ambulance is now at NPTAB [National Tender and Procurement Administration] at Ministry of Finance and hopefully in the next few months you will have an ambulance here.”

Minister Lawrence spearheaded a visit with a team from the MoPH to the Barima Waini region starting with Moruca. She said this particular trip was covered by water transport which allowed the staff to see the difficulties encountered in transporting patients.

“I told my staff I want you to see what it takes for the staff in the hinterland to actually do their jobs…. they can’t just walk outside and hire a bus or call a taxi. I wanted them to see.”

Most communities in Moruca sub-region are accessible by water hence the need to have a water ambulance. The vessel is expected to be handed over to the region by October.

This will add to other water ambulances that have been handed over to other regions where villages are only accessible by river. The ministry of public health is pushing efforts to ensure riverine communities have access to specialised emergency services.

Minister Lawrence added that a road ambulance will be provided for the Kumaka District Hospital.

This will be one of the land rovers that can handle the terrain” she explained.