Mar 23, 2020 News
The deadly coronavirus pandemic has dealt a blow to several Guyanese children who desperately need to travel overseas for surgery.
Kaieteur News has confirmed that a number of children, including some in the Georgetown Public Hospital’s Burn Care Unit and Paediatric Ward are unable to go overseas for scheduled surgeries, because, as one senior Guyanese physician put it, “the world has closed off air travel.”
In the Burn Care Unit and Paediatric Ward overseas surgeries for five children have been placed on hold.
Among the distraught mothers is Rewinna David, whose four-year-old son, Junior Kentolall, has been diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease. She has been attempting to raise the funds for him to undergo surgery in Colombia.
According to Ms. David, officials from the Caribbean Children Foundation and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have told her that until the COVID-19 virus is under control no surgery can be done.
“I have been asking for donations to cover the cost for my son’s surgery, and now when I am getting the help, this has happened.”
But it is not only patients like Junior Kentolall who are being affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
A senior medical official revealed that public as well as private hospitals have cut back on surgeries that are not deemed to be emergency cases.
This is to prevent the risk of patients or medical staff being infected during surgery.
“There is risk to the patient from a staff member who may not have symptoms; likewise, a patient may be infected by a physician who is unknowingly infected.”
“A lot of hospitals have cut back on the number of elective cases, to reduce the risk to patients and healthcare providers.
“If someone has a gunshot wound, for instance, there is no restriction to that, but if it’s a hernia that a patient wants to have surgically fixed, that procedure will be postponed.”
“This (reduction in elective surgeries) is being adopted in Guyana and by my colleagues in the Caribbean and the entire world to safeguard the public and healthcare professionals (from contracting the COVID 19).
The official explained that the resources for testing every patient and medical staff prior to surgery are not available.
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