Mar 29, 2013 News
In excess of $300 million is expended each year by the Ministry of Health through its Vector Control Services Unit in the quest to address the impact of vector-borne diseases on a national scale. And in order to maintain the fight, Director of the Unit, Dr. Reyaud Rahman, said that measures will be made to ensure that an improved service is offered complete with
an adequate and qualified staff.
“We want to create a service where we are an authority in the country concerning vector-borne diseases and bring vector control back to the levels that it was in the 1960s and 1970s, basically.”
He revealed that during that period, Guyana had in place a national malaria programme which saw it easily being ascribed as the leader in South America and the Caribbean in its vector control mission. Moreover, he noted that Guyana is looking to regain this title.
“We should never have dropped back, we should have progressed and continued to reach heights rather than slow up some of our activities. I guess those were things out of everyone’s hands and that sort of thing happens, but we will be progressing and we are very adamant not to accept defeat.”
As such, the young and vibrant Director has crafted an ambitious plan, which according to him, is geared at bettering the fight against vector-borne diseases. He disclosed that the Health Ministry is currently on track to actually decrease malaria as well as other emerging vector-related threats.
“We just need to scale up a bit more what we are doing and it is exactly that that we are in the process of doing and we are already making a meaningful impact.”
Dr. Rahman has for more than two years been actively involved in the vector control unit, but only recently was placed in the leadership capacity. However he has not shifted the focus of the fight, as according to him, “these things were in the pipeline and from my short time here, and with all the interactions and everything that we have put in place, although they are not all bearing fruits yet, I know there is potential…there is great potential, because of the feedback we have been getting from our partners”
“From all the positive things that have been coming out of the meetings and the activities which we have undertaken they are coming off very well and it seems that we will have a successful year based on the fact that we intend to carry through what we are doing.”
According to him, while an impact may not be realised immediately, there is likely to be some impact evident by a decrease, for instance, of malaria.
Dr. Rahman disclosed that the Ministry of Health has identified, and the Vector Control Unit is aware too, that there is a dire need to scale up the activities, a state of affairs which is premised on the fact that “we know there is an increased number of miners going into the mining localities. Our intervention is to scale up and just do more work…that is, getting more staff, doing more activities and operations and getting more medications and treated bed nets out there.”
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