Low vaccination numbers in Region One due to language barrier

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony MP says a specialised vaccination campaign may have to be undertaken in some parts of Barima -Waini (Region One), where the language barrier is a challenge.

Minister Anthony made the disclosure during a visit to Mabaruma on Friday, when he stopped in at the COVID-19 vaccination site in the compound of the Mabaruma Regional Hospital, where he was told of the challenge.

“Everything must be done, even if we have to go again, to ensure everyone has an opportunity to be vaccinated against Covid,” Minister Anthony told the Regional Health Officer (RHO) and staff at the facility.

The visiting team headed by Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony speaking with Keisha Chung from Chung Global Enterprise, the construction firm undertaking the retrofitting

Later, as he visited the Port Kaituma Hospital, Minister Anthony encouraged the staff to speak with their trained vaccination personnel about anything they may not understand about the vaccines.

“You have amongst you two things; one, you have trained people to oversee this vaccination process, all of you nurses, who are part of this vaccination process, apart from the team that is located in Georgetown, you have a team of experts that are closer to you right here, they were trained, they can advise you on all things about the vaccines. So, if you have any doubt, then you can talk to them and get their advice,” Minister Anthony told the staff.   

Meanwhile, on the Smart Hospital Project at Mabaruma, both Minister Anthony and Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/ WHO) Representative in Guyana, Dr. Luis Codina were pleased that works have progressed since Minister Anthony’s last visit.  

“At the end of August, some portion of the hospital can be finished, and maybe some others will take some time, one or two more months but in the difficult time that we have in the middle of the pandemic, with a lot of flooding around the country etc., to have this result at this moment I think it is a great improvement in terms of the project,” Dr. Codina added.

Mabaruma Regional Hospital where the Smart Hospital Project is currently underway

Thus far, workmen have been able to repair the roof of the earmarked section for retrofitting, retile the kitchen area, construct the battery room, resurface the wheelchair ramp, as well as other structural improvements and modifications. Construction is being undertaken by Chung Global Enterprise.

The Smart Health Care Facilities Project is a £43.8 million project currently being implemented in seven Caribbean countries including Guyana. The Diamond Diagnostic Centre was recently completed and handed over to the Ministry of Health. The Lethem Regional Hospital is scheduled for handover in August, while the Leonora Cottage Hospital and Mabaruma Regional Hospital are both being retrofitted. Construction of the Paramakatoi Health Centre will begin soon. All facilities should be completed by the end of this year, according to PAHO.

The project is funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the UK Government. Director General of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Vishwa Mahadeo, the Ministry’s Hinterland Coordinator, Michael Gouveia, RHO of Region One, Dr. Steven Cheefoon along with a team from the Regional Democratic Council headed by Chairman, Brentnol Ashley accompanied Minister Anthony.

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