Telemedicine saves Konashen Baby’s life

Located hundreds of miles away from the capital city of Georgetown, lies an Amerindian village called Konashen/Masakenari in the deep south of the Rupununi, Region Nine home to the Wai Wai tribe.

Access to quality and efficient healthcare services is limited in this part of the country, but with the government’s strategic telemedicine project that has been placed in the village’s health centre, residents are now accessing quality healthcare and even lives are being saved.

Toshao of Konashen/Masakenari, Paul Chekema

Telemedicine is a two-way, real-time interactive communication between a patient and healthcare provider at different sites. It’s supported by audio and video equipment and integrated medical devices that empower clinicians to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients remotely and is beneficial in Guyana’s case.

On the sidelines of the 2023 National Toshaos Council (NTC) Conference on Friday, the Department of Public Information (DPI) spoke with Konashen’s Toshao, Paul Chekema who shared a story of how a mother and a baby’s life was saved with the telemedicine system.

Konashen’s Community Health Worker utilising the telemedicine system

“Telemedicine is working well for my people. Recently, a baby was in a breached position … if we didn’t have telemedicine, I don’t know what I was supposed to do,” he said.

“I will say thank you to the government for doing that. I was surprised when I saw this thing … It shows me how great the government does help us with that kind of project. So, my people whenever they have sickness, right away they will come to Georgetown,” the Toshao added.

Chekema also said he supports the expansion of this project to other remote communities.

Konashen/Masakenari is located in the deep south of the Rupununi

“I will say thank you to the government for this thing. I heard they mentioned today that communities will get telemedicine because we are remote. So, I will say thank you to the government for doing that,” the Amerindian chief expressed.

The telemedicine project was officially launched in 2022 by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with US company – 19Labs.

Konashen is one of several communities in Region Nine benefitting from the initiative and with $1.8 billion earmarked in budget 2023, it will be expanded to Region One (Barima – Waini), Region Seven (Cuyuni – Mazaruni), Region Eight (Potaro – Siparuni) and other remote communities in Region Nine (Upper Takutu – Upper Essequibo).

COVID-19 Notice: Due to the pandemic some consular services will be conducted by registered mail until further notice. Learn more