NEW AMSTERDAM, BERBICE – Based on concerns raised by residents about the mosquito invasion, and after monitoring the situation, the Health Ministry has put some systems in place to address the issue. The mosquito problem does not only exist in Berbice but other parts of Guyana as well.
Minister within the Ministry of Health, Dr. Bheri Ramsarran, noted that the approach is one that calls for the co-operation of residents to ensure improved aesthetics and a friendly environment. This would complement whatever would be undertaken by the Regional Administration, Municipalities and Neighbourhood Democratic Councils.
Together the Ministry and the Region Six Administration would provide the necessary chemicals needed to fog the environment. Government recently gave the local administration a fogging machine and a second one was temporarily added not too long ago. Persons were also trained to use and upkeep the equipment. Up to last week, 52 persons were undergoing training at a higher level at the Tower Hotel in Georgetown on general issues of vector control.
The fogging exercise is only a part of the strategy to eradicate mosquitoes, and other vectors. The public is being urged to keep their surroundings free of receptacles which could encourage the breeding of mosquitoes and other unwanted agents. Another line of attack in dealing with the mosquito nuisance is to extend the campaign to schools where students would be groomed to act as agents of change in order to promote the importance of a clean and safe environment.
The Health Ministry also acquired a quantity of heavy-duty spray cans for distribution across the country according to the need. Some of these are already in East Berbice/Corentyne.
Dr. Ramsarran said that the Government made use of the El Niño phenomenon to conduct massive clean-up campaigns in several sections of Guyana. The drainage and irrigation systems were addressed, the brush on road shoulders was removed in many areas.
The Chief Environmental Health Officer, Dr. Sukdeo, now on duty in Region One, is soon to follow up on issues relating to environmental health in East Berbice/Corentyne.
These statements were made last week when the Minister hosted a press conference at State House in New Amsterdam. He also spent a few hours visiting health facilities in Regions Six and Five, including the National Ophthalmology Centre at Port Mourant and the Mahaicony Hospital.
The National Ophthalmology Centre would observe its first anniversary in July. The facility is a part of a bigger eye-care system in Guyana which was born out of the Mission Miracle initiative.
A check on its performance for the last six months, according to the Minister, is impressive. Between July 28th 2009 and May 19th this year, 21,074 patients were seen. Some 8,932 persons were seen for refraction. Outreach programmes in Orealla, Skeldon and the four schemes comprising Black Bush Polder recorded the screening of 409 patients. A total of 1,536 surgeries were performed – 316 of which were cataract, 1,119 pterygium, 52 laser and 49 minor cases.
But one of the issues facing the National Ophthalmology Centre is the fact that several persons are screened and scheduled for surgery but do not make an appearance. Recently, of the 41 persons only 11 showed up, “…so probably sometimes because…things are now so accessible we do not appreciate the effort.”
The Minister said that the Health Sector is one that proves Government’s belief in impartiality. For instance, he said, Region Six got the National Ophthalmology Centre, in other Regions there were the Diamond Diagnostic Centre outside of Georgetown and the Mahaicony Hospital in Region Five.
Based on a decision made, the health infrastructure would be given a complete overhaul and this includes the reconstruction of the diagnostic centres.
All this, he explained, support the principle of equity. A massive drive is underway to train doctors, nurses, technical staff and the like to boost services offered.
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