In keeping with its strategic plan to address the issue of suicide, the Government of Guyana has announced that it will be setting up Poison Control Centres in key areas across the country.
According to Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shamdeo Persaud, these Centres are to be established and become operational by mid-2016. Dr Persaud was at the time addressing journalists at the Public Health Ministry’s end-of-the-year press conference at the Public Health Ministry on Brickdam.
The CMO said Government was in the process of identifying the spaces for these facilities in Georgetown, Berbice and Essequibo. Funding for the undertaking will come from the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board and will include the procurement of the communication equipment, training for relevant operators and other necessity items.
A Poison Control Centre is a medical facility that is able to provide immediate, free and expert treatment, advice and assistance over the telephone in case of exposure to poisonous or hazardous substances.
Considering Guyana’s high rate of suicide, the CMO had explained that the operations of such centres across the country can help curb the issue, or at least, reduce the number of successful suicides by providing immediate life-saving information for suicide attempts.