Pressure, diabetes among main ailments seen by Guyana Watch team
-rising Berbice suicide trend noted

Stabroek News
August 21, 1999

The Guyana Watch Medical Team has identified high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis as the principal illnesses in the adult population which was treated during the team's seventh visit.

This information was disclosed to reporters when two members of that group paid a courtesy call on Minister of Health (ag) Shaik Baksh at the Health Ministry on Brickdam on Thursday.

Tony Yassin and Robby Mahadeo president and vice-president of Guyana Watch, told of the group's activities during this trip to Guyana which took them to Region Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam), Three (West Demerara/Essequibo Islands), Four (Demerara/Mahaica), Five (Mahaica/Berbice) and Six (East Berbice/Corentyne). The medical team treated some 2,375 persons including 930 children and donated medicines to the tune of approximately US$100,000. Aurora and Wales recorded the highest numbers of patients seen on any one day. There were also significant amounts at Black Bush Polder and Bush Lot Village.

The group comprising some 25 persons, of which there were nine doctors and one nurse, was divided up into mini groups and sent to different areas where they carried out the clinics.

Mahadeo, who is a specialised paediatric practitioner at the Mt Sinai/Jamaica Hospital in Queens, New York, said that the group normally identifies about two children who are in most need of specialist heart treatment overseas. This year it hopes to raise that number to three.

He expressed concern also about the rising trend of suicide which was a major cause of death especially in Berbice. This, he said, could be reduced by way of counselling and schemes should be set up to target this group.

A report is to be prepared and submitted to the Health Ministry by the Guyana Watch Team with a view to improving the local health sector.

During the visit the group also made contact with the local medical school with a view to having US students learn tropical medicine and local students work in US hospitals. They also widened their portfolio to include helping in the promotion of education in the country by adopting a school in Canal Number Two Polder to which they gave a computer.

Baksh, who is acting for Health Minister Dr Henry Jeffrey, said that the government was thankful for the assistance being continuously rendered by the members of Guyana Watch over the years.

The team which has been here for a couple of weeks, was due to leave Guyana yesterday. A team of eye surgeons sponsored by the group are expected here in March next year, with a view to performing corrective surgery on a number of patients.

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Guyana: Land of Six Peoples