Visiting medical team treats Linden residents
Scores of residents on the Wismar shore were yesterday afforded the opportunity
of accessing free medical intervention at the Christianburg Health Centre.
Delivering the medical services was the Health and Relief Organization (HERO) of the USA, led by overseas-based Lindener Dr. Wayne Sampson. The team is made up of 17 medical professionals including another Guyanese, Dr. Collie Oudkerk.
Dr. Sampson, who initiated the programme in 2000, said that he has been heartened by the response over the years. He is optimistic that by the end of the present mission at least 600 persons would receive medical attention. There were more than 100 persons at the Christiansburg clinic yesterday.
Sampson left Guyana 29 years ago and after graduating from medical school decided he wanted to give back to the community that raised him.
“I felt that when I graduated from medical school I was equipped with the requisite skills and knowledge that is needed back here.”
He along with Oudkerk subsequently assembled a team of volunteers which became known as HERO. We started to focus on children with orthopedic deformities, such as “Club Feet” in 2005. There were children that could barely walk, and we’ve been able to help them. On average about 12 to 15 orthopedic surgeries are done per year, and then we do the follow up also. The surgeries have been life changing, almost instantly,” Sampson declared.
Prior to the 2005 floods, Sampson said that the team was only doing the medical missions once per year. Subsequently the team started doing the mission twice per year, which saw a lot more volunteers joining the mission. “That sort of energized us, and catapulted us to do much more. But we wanted to do something and do it well, we wanted to sort of solidify Linden, use it as a prototype
that we could replicate elsewhere. We didn’t want to spread ourselves too thin.”
Presently those services have been extended to include areas in Georgetown and on the Corentyne.
The medical mission began on Sunday last and has done clinics up the Demerara River, at Amelia’s Ward and One Mile Health Centres. The team is expected to be in today. (Enid Joaquin)