Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony, M.P, on Monday commissioned a $30 million Infectious Diseases Chest Clinic at the Suddie Public hospital. The clinic will be utilised specifically to treat persons with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Tuberculosis (TB).
Dr. Anthony said healthcare workers will now have a better facility to treat patients suffering from these diseases. He reiterated the ministry’s efforts in treating patients and also eliminating HIV from Guyana’s population.
“As you know, with HIV there’s a lot of things that we’re doing to change how we treat with HIV patients, and so one of the things that we want to move to is not just treating persons who are HIV positive but also those persons who are at high risks,” he noted.
He noted too that the Ministry has also rolled out a comprehensive PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) programme across the country, which will allow persons who believe they have been exposed to HIV, to be treated.
“We have enough medication to do PrEP and therefore, if we follow the protocol, then we’ll be able to minimise persons getting the infection so as to become positive.”
He reiterated that soon HIV self-testing kits would be introduced as another way of detecting the disease in its early stage.
In relation to TB, Dr. Anthony noted that, “As you know with TB one of our biggest challenges has been making sure that people take their medication… and if we’re going to help to cure these people then we have to make sure they take the medication on time.”
He further noted that during the pandemic, healthcare workers we unable to go out in the communities to observe and ensure persons are taking their medication. “So, we need to recover, we need to go back out, we need to find these patients and make sure they are on treatment,” Dr. Anthony told health workers.
Additionally, $100 million has been allocated to improve health facilities in Region Two. Dr. Anthony said x-ray services and intensive care at the Suddie Hospital will soon be improved.
Training opportunities for Community Health Workers (CHW) and nurses will also be made available in the region.
Parliamentary Representative for Region Two and Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, M.P, said developments in the health sector, particularly in the region, were made possible by the healthcare providers.
“You have seen progress in the delivery of health, and this couldn’t happen without your profound support and more importantly with the way you dealt with all of the issues,” he told health workers.
The Minister also noted that, “it makes no sense we have the physical and the tangible things and the people who are supposed to be the ones behind it are not optimally trained.”
Additionally, six TB patients and more than 100 HIV patients along with patients having other forms of infectious diseases will be treated at the new Chest Clinic. [Extracted and Modified from DPI]