Guyana: On July 13, Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony, addressed those gathered on the significant improvements and investments being made thus far to accelerate health care and service delivery within indigenous villages in both hinterland and coastal regions of Guyana.
In line with the theme of the National Toshaos Council Conference 2022, “Good Governance and Fast Tracking Amerindian Development”, Minister Anthony informed the Toshaos and other delegates of the many developmental projects and activities implemented within indigenous communities from 2020 to the present. The Honourable Minister also mentioned the $GY554 million being spent on health sector upgrades. He announced the other plans that will soon be implemented to improve and sustain the health of citizens within these communities and villages.
Dr Anthony informed the gathering of the infrastructural works being done at the Mabaruma Regional Hospital, totalling US$1 million.
He also highlighted the installation of new X-ray machines at the Port Kaituma District Hospital and the construction of a main operating theatre at Maruka Hospital to facilitate surgeries.
He added that millions of dollars had been spent on the purchase of automobiles and watercraft, which will be utilized by health care workers for patients residing in far-flung areas. These include 19 ATVs, 12 ambulances, and six boats.
The administration’s plans for telehealth centres were also discussed.
Dr Anthony added that while infrastructure and equipment are essential for proper healthcare, Human Resources are paramount. Hence the Ministry of Health (MOH) is working toward training persons to fill various roles within the health sector of these communities.
“We have begun training nursing assistants in region nine, and we intend to extend this program to all the other regions. We further plan on training pharmacy assistants, laboratory technicians etc..”, he said.
The Minister took to the forum to remind leaders of indigenous communities that the COVID-19 virus is still quite prevalent and encouraged them to inform members within their villages about the importance of vaccination and being vaccinated, as vaccination rates within the hinterland regions are far below target.
At the end of his presentation, Minister of Health engaged in an interactive session with the Toshaos, addressing various concerns raised and informing them of ways in which he will assist in resolving them.