No malaria threat in Guyana - Ramsarran
Stabroek News
December 12, 2006

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The Ministry of Health yesterday moved to dispel concerns that malaria could pose a threat to the hosting of Cricket World Cup Cricket in Guyana, following reports in the press in Jamaica that the island could face being shut out of the games.

Minister within the Ministry of Health Dr Bheri Ramsarran said at a press conference yesterday that Guyana has come a long way towards keeping the parasitic disease in check. "In Guyana there is no such threat," he said. "We have been doing well‚€¦significantly better than we did in the past," he said.

He said the Ministry of Health has been doing quiet work which is now beginning to bear fruit, pointing to the implementation of measures outlined in the Regional Strategic Plan for Malaria in the Americas, written by Guyanese-born Dr Keith Carter.

Dr Ramsarran said that as a result of the work of the government on malaria, there has been a 49.6 per cent drop in the number of reported cases. "Guyana is on the way there‚€¦the 49.6 per cent drop in reports is as at October," he said, citing the programme of distributing impregnated mosquito nets.He said that these and other measures were helping to reduce the incidence of malaria in Guyana and spoke about initiatives to educate persons in the mining industry about the disease.

Dr Ramsarran said that for last year 34,234 cases of malaria were reported and he hoped that with proper and continuous training there could be a significant reduction in these numbers.

To date, some 42 health workers have been trained and this number should increase since other categories of health workers would be trained in malaria care and treatment. Dr Ramsarran said one health worker is working at the moment in the Bahamas and Guyana is willing to extend its expertise to any country in the region which needs help in the malaria fight. He said that two people are on standby should Jamaica make a request for assistance.

Jamaica is battling an outbreak of the parasitic disease and questions were asked about the island's suitability to host the Cricket World Cup.