Hundreds of residents of the indigenous communities of Orealla and Siparuta, Region Six on Thursday and Friday, benefitted from a medical Outreach led by Director General of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Vishwa Mahadeo and a team of 13 medical personnel.
The team included Dental Surgeons, Optometrist, Dermatologist, General Practitioner and an ultrasound Technician, who is a member of the Cuban Medical Brigade and a nurse specialising in Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) screening.
“It is the mandate of His Excellency, President Irfaan Ali that we take health care to the people. He spoke about equal and equitable access to health care and we know that FOR persons in these areas it’s more difficult. The highest level of care in this area is a health centre. Of course, we have a doctor who is based here,” Dr. Mahadeo told DPI.
The dental team conducted more than 250 dental procedures on more than 150 persons.
Dr. Mahadeo noted that these procedures include things that were never done before in the communities, “things like the root canal and doing other interventions that were never done before here. The head of the Cheddi Jagan Dental Centre, himself, is here, Dr. Sullivan, and he has been leading this team, so we had literally three chairs working at the same time and this is why we would have achieved this much in the two days.”
Almost 50 ultrasounds were done on persons including the elderly and pregnant, while 55 persons saw the dermatologist, 31 persons did VIA Screening, with others accessing general services.
“In all the cases like in the case of Optometry, we are making a list of those cases that would need intervention so we are talking about the pterygiums, talking about the cataracts, we are talking about the glaucoma that might need surgical intervention or other interventions and this list we will be working on so we are hopefully going to be able to take these persons out to get it done if it cannot be done here,” Dr Mahadeo said.
Dr. Latoya Dyal, the Dermatologist, noted that most of the skin conditions, were in children. “The ‘hand, foot and mouth’ disease is an infectious disease, so I was advising the nurses and so on to speak to the community leaders to encourage handwashing among the smaller children to prevent this type of disease. As for the fungal infections, those are due to sweating and, in this community, persons do a lot of farming which causes them to sweat a lot so even though I give the advice would have been better to avoid getting too sweaty and avoid keeping the skin too damp,” Dr. Dyal said.
Patients who accessed the medical services are grateful for the opportunity.
Glennis Valenzuela who benefitted from VIA screening said, “I’m really glad that the doctor came till in Siparuta to do this VIA, I’m so glad because it’s so much money fuh go out fuh do it,” she said.
Jasodra Yhapp-Wong also benefitted from VIA services. “I really feel happy about this because in our community, there are lots of women, the first thing that we notice they are having the sickness right, them deh so bad and some of them are dying with it, so I’m so happy today and I am proud that this doctor come and them could do this test for us, and I also do it because I am happy to make sure that our body is safe and perfect health.”
“I’m very thankful for our present president, what he has promised us that he is doing here today, I am very thankful for the team, Dr. Mahadeo and team because they always promise to do their best for the people everywhere in this country, so I’m very thankful for this team,” said Maurice Henry, a resident of Siparuta.
“For a very long time we didn’t get outreach like this and it is very important for our people in our village because many times we have to travel out to go to new Amsterdam for treatment for all kinds of things like eyes and so and sometimes we don’t even have money, and emergency cases it’s really difficult but we thank god so much that the team is here,” said Gwendolyn Baptiste.