Young doctor leading healthcare in North Rupununi

DPI, Guyana, Monday, July 22, 2019

Thirty-two-year-old, Dr. Gillian Joseph is working to ensure the Indigenous residents of North Rupununi are healthy. Hailing from Surama village, Dr. Joseph graduated in 2016 as a Doctor in Medicine after studies in Cuba.

After 18 months of rotations at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation. (GPHC), post-graduation, Dr. Joseph was asked to serve as District Health Supervisor in the North Rupununi where she was stationed at the Annai Health Centre.  Joseph also serves as the Doctor in Charge.

She is responsible for the efficient functioning of health facilities in 14 communities in the North Rupununi district and monitoring the work of more than 30 health staff in the district.

Since assuming the post as district health supervisor, Dr. Joseph has been crafting targetted approaches to improve healthcare delivery in the region, working closely with the North Rupununi District Development Board. “Since being here, one of the things I have started is holding quarterly meetings with the health staff in the district.”

This has allowed for more interaction among staff as they track progress and identify shortcomings. This allows for the issues which exist in healthcare delivery to be addressed promptly. There are also plans to extend the healthcare service via weekly home visits and quarterly outreaches.

Dr. Joseph noted that her biggest challenge is the lack of health education among the Indigenous peoples. The fact that patients are either misinformed or unaware of the risk factors to non-communicable diseases and other serious health issues plaguing the hinterland. Therefore, she counsels persons whenever they visit her office.

Dr. Joseph stated that returning to her home (North Rupununi) and serving in the area of health has always been her dream. “Coming home was something I always planned on doing, to give back, give my services and support in the health sector to the district, that is something that I dreamt about and it is really what made me pursue studies to become a doctor in the first place.” Dr. Joseph said.

Added to that, she feels fulfilled in seeing the result of her work even it is simply by putting a smile on a patient’s face.