GPHC on track for Cricket World Cup – Rambarran
By Melanie Allicock
Kaieteur News
January 27, 2007

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With 43 days to go for the commencement of the Cricket World Cup, the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation assures that plans are on track with its preparations for the mega-event.

According to Director of Medical and Professional Services, Dr. Madan Rambarran, the institution has been working assiduously to improve its Emergency Medical Services.

Rambarran told Kaieteur News that the two major steps being taken in this regard are the establishment of an effective ambulance service and appropriate training of personnel.

Towards this end, the Health Ministry has instituted an ambulance authority, which will develop standards and coordinate the ambulance services.

At the moment there are about 15 ambulances available for use by the health sector.

These include private ones owned by the St. John's Ambulance Brigade, Guysuco, MMC Security Service and Davis Memorial Hospital .

Rambarran said as part of its activities the Authority has been trying to effectively coordinate the use of these vehicles during the upcoming tournament.

Acknowledging the need for the ambulances to be better equipped to offer medical treatment, the official said the hospital is now in the process of standardizing the equipment to be used in the vehicles.

Another two fully equipped ambulances are also on their way to Guyana to complement the existing services and allow for deployment at the national stadium.

The official noted that in the past the health sector had employed the ‘scoop and run' approach, where patients were transported by ambulances, which then would not have been fitted with the requisite equipment for critical treatment to be administered en route to the hospital, with many persons succumbing before reaching their destination.

Rambarran assured that the Ambulance Authority will be a standard fixture in setting the standard for what an ambulance should have on board in terms of equipment and personnel.

A few of the courses were facilitated in this regard in collaboration with the CDC, PAHO, and Ministry of Health.

Rambarran explained “Persons underwent what is called ‘first responder courses' which enables them to do this type of job.

In October, through a collaboration with a Canadian Network for International Surgery (CNIS), 15 instructors received training in comprehensive trauma care.

The instructors in turn trained 25 participants comprising medical officers, nurses, medics, physiotherapists.

“After training these 15 instructors, we then trained five trauma teams which comprised five categories of staffers, which will include doctors, nurses and attendants and bus drivers, who will all have a distinct role in trauma response.”

The 15 instructors will continue training others at the GPHC, and will then expand the programme to other public health institutions.

This method was tried in Africa and was deemed successful, and is workable in low resource settings like Guyana .

Dr. Rambarran said hospital attendants are also presently being trained in the correct methods of lifting and moving patients from the ambulance.

He further assured that the institution is further equipping itself to deal with mass casualties during the World Cup.

As part of its disaster preparedness plan, the services of the Accident and Emergency unit is being expanded.

Rambarran said additional equipment is presently being installed.