Feb 03, 2015 News
It wasn’t merely deemed a job, but a passion for workers attached to the Vector Control Services Unit of the Ministry of Health when they engaged in sustained efforts to tackle an outbreak of the Chikungunya Virus last year.
Guyana recorded its first case of the virus around May, with the Vector Control Services Unit having the brunt of the responsibility to control a potentially daunting situation – one that was since the previous year wreaking havoc in some Caribbean territories.
As such, Vector Control Director, Dr. Reyaud Rahman, said that “our workers were called upon to do a lot more work than they are normally called upon to do. Some persons took it well and were willing to go the extra mile but some persons didn’t…”
However, those who without hesitation “pushed in the real effort” were in fact the primary reason that Guyana was able to tackle the Chikungunya situation better that most other countries, speculated Dr. Rahman.
These workers, he pointed out, even left their homes for weeks on end, took up temporary residence in Berbice in order to battle the virus. The first few cases of the virus were detected in that section of the country.
Moreover, this strategic move was one intended to ensure that the affected areas were fogged, at least, twice daily, according to Dr. Rahman.
“We fogged around 4am and in the afternoons at around 5 and later. A lot of times rain held us up…our guys stayed in Berbice for a long time and there was no outburst from them that they needed more money or anything. They did what they had to do willingly,” said the Vector Control Director, as he informed that the dedication was not only centered in Berbice alone, but extended to the efforts in the city.
“They fogged and did a lot of work in the fields and even went from house to house to sensitize residents, particularly in the areas most affected…we were basically trying to ensure that people were educated about the virus; we sprayed their homes with a view of ensuring that other persons in the communities were not affected too,” said Dr. Rahman.
He disclosed that while efforts were made to train and support regional workers, the start of the Chikungunya fight was one that “was quite a huge task by a small amount of staffers.”
“The Ministry of Health recognised that people really stepped up and got the job done,” Dr. Rahman related.
This recognition translated to an award ceremony in honour of the Vector Control workers on Friday at the Albert Street, Georgetown, Hot and Spicy Restaurant.
There the workers including: Field Assistants, Darryl Edwards, Rasuk Braithwaite, Anecia Smith, Rondalyn Allicock, Clairmonte Stewart and Candaisey Profitt; Microscopist, Odessa Williams; Senior Operator/Inspector Ryan Paul; Computer Operator, Notoya Smith; drivers Cleavon Phoenix, Peter Hall, Selwyn John, Dwayne Daley and Godfrey Hinds, were presented with certificates for their dedicated work.
However, it was Charge/Operator Inspector, David Williams, who was recognised as the most outstanding staffer within the Unit.
According to Dr. Rahman, Williams was unanimously selected as the most dedicated staffer as he always availed himself for just about any task, although he was the team supervisor when he (Dr. Rahman) was not himself leading his Unit in the field. Dr. Rahman noted that Williams displayed immense leadership qualities wherever it was necessary.
“David was always very willing to get the job done. He doesn’t back down from any task regardless of how big or small. He is competent and he is a person that can do any job…he doesn’t care if it is sweeping the yard or presenting a topic, that’s how he operates,” recounted Dr. Rahman as he spoke glowingly of his officer. For this Williams was presented with a special trophy.
The awards ceremony on Friday was the first of its kind specifically for Vector Control Workers that was undertaken entirely by the Health Ministry.
At the ceremony the workers’ efforts were lauded by Minister of Health, Dr. Bheri Ramsaran, and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shamdeo Persaud. “We were very thankful that the Ministry of Health recognised our hard work and dedication to the job,” added Dr. Rahman.
Although the Chikungunya Virus is considered to be under control, Dr. Rahman noted that there is still need for adherence by members of the public to ensure that the virus remains at manageable proportions.
“Even though Chikungunya hit us hard to some extent and a lot of people were affected, I think we were able to cushion the blow because if we expected 1,000 people to become sick
we can safely say only half got sick,” said Dr. Rahman.
He went on to stress that it was because of the dedicated efforts that more persons did not become affected with the virus all at once, but rather they occurred in phases in different sections of the country. “Can you imagine what could have happened if a wider cross section of the country came down with this debilitating disease all at once?” questioned Dr. Rahman as he asserted that “it could have been that big of a deal.” Rahman noted that while the efforts of the Vector Control Unit might not have been publicised widely it certainly was instrumental in controlling the impact of the virus.
The Chikungunya virus, which is transmitted by the bites of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, is manifested with symptoms including headache, fever, rashes, nausea/vomiting, joints and muscle pains.
3 min. Tiktok who deh with who
Jan 27, 2023ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Cricket West Indies (CWI) yesterday announced that former West Indies Captain and batting legend, Brian Lara, has agreed to assist CWI as a Performance Mentor – working...
Jan 27, 2023
Jan 27, 2023
Jan 27, 2023
Jan 27, 2023
Jan 27, 2023
Kaieteur News – Let me be incandescent in my words to follow. I was trained in history when I first entered university.... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States of America and the Organization... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]