U.S gives Guyana more medical supplies, equipment
…gifts in six months total $55.6M By Shirley Thomas
Guyana Chronicle
June 12, 2002

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THE UNITED States Department of Defence yesterday donated more medical supplies and equipment to the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), bringing to G$55.6M the value of items it has supplied the disaster relief agency during the last six months.

The gift - one 40ft shipping container of supplies valued at US$145,000 (G$28.4M) - was handed over to Lieutenant Colonel Wedna Cambridge of the Guyana Defence Force, which operates the CDC, by U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires, Mr. Andrew Parker, at the CDC complex, Thomas Lands, Georgetown.

Medical supplies and equipment from the donation will be distributed amongst the Ministry of Health, the Army and medical service and ministry organisations. Clinics and hospitals in need will also benefit from the donation.

The CDC will maintain some equipment for use in disaster management, a U.S. embassy release reported.

Last December, two 40ft containers of supplies valued US$145,790 (G$28.4M) were donated.

Gratefully acknowledging the gifts, Cambridge said, “I think the figure alone will tell us that the contribution by the United States is significant, because we know in these hard times $55M is a lot of money.”

He said that because of the importance of the equipment received, “we in Guyana must consider ourselves fortunate.”

Funded through the United States Southern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Programme, the donations were coordinated through the United States Embassy in Georgetown.

The Embassy said the donations are part of an integrated approach by the United States Government to assist the Government of Guyana to provide health care to the nation.

Parker, addressing the gathering witnessing yesterday’s ceremony, said that the gesture was part of the United States’ ongoing commitment to the people of Guyana, initiated through the generosity of the U.S Southern Command based in Miami, Florida.

He asserted, “at this difficult moment in your country, as the Government and people grapple with contentious political issues and criminal incidents that worry us all, it is a refreshing moment to be able to hand over medical supplies for the purpose of improving health care and saving the lives of all Guyanese.”

“…It is left to each of us in our own ways, as leaders, as teachers… to reinforce the message that in Guyana, that in every country of the world, the ties that bind us in our common humanity are far greater than differences that divide us,” Parker noted.

The U.S. envoy envisioned that Guyana will move beyond its current difficulties, but said that it will take courage on the part of every person. “It will require that each of us show respect and goodwill to others, and we recognise that each of us can only move forward when we all move forward together.”

Of the U.S. administration, he said, “we value your friendship, we want to see Guyana succeed. It is up to you though, to make the commitment to your own future.”

Noting that the United States will continue to support and work with the people of Guyana with additional humanitarian medical missions, Parker unveiled future plans for U.S. aid to Guyana in the year ahead.

These include missions expected to take part in July and August at the Georgetown Public Hospital and at Bartica; carrying out a health infrastructure assessment; malaria and other vector control assessment programmes; a health infrastructure report; a biomedical report and an HIV/AIDS project - all being planned by the U.S. Southern Command.

Additionally, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is involved in the provision of assistance to combat HIV/AIDS and Peace Corps volunteers are working on health education projects throughout Guyana.