Ultrasound machine, digital x-ray unit saving lives in Region 9

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Health services in Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo (Region Nine) have been improved with the installation of an ultrasound machine and a digital x-ray unit at the Lethem Regional Hospital earlier this year.

Some 633 residents have so far benefitted from the operationalisation of the ultrasound machine.

Sonologist, Dr. Lisa Adams-Uthman in the ultrasound examination room at the Lethem Regional Hospital

Dr. Lisa Adams-Uthman told DPI that the Hospital started offering this service mid-January.  While most of the cases were related to obstetrics, she said abdominal, urology (for men), gynaecological, breast, scrotal, soft tissue and other ultrasound services were also offered.

Dr. Adams-Uthman said these services are now available due to the Government’s efforts to increase access to quality healthcare in the hinterland.  She added that the ultrasound machine, “has enabled us to capture a lot of pregnant women in terms of doing an obstetric ultrasound to scan their developing foetuses and so far, we have caught … several abnormalities in these patients.”

The doctor said having the machine has contributed to a reduction in maternal deaths, as it has allowed the hospital to screen and monitor high-risk pregnancies.

Additionally, Deputy Regional Health Officer (Ag.) Dr. Olivia Vaz said the Lethem Hospital’s digital x-ray unit, has “worked wonders” for some 150 patients over the last two months.

Region Nine Deputy Regional Health Officer (Ag.) Dr. Olivia Vaz

“Previously, our theatre was only capable of handling one emergency surgery or elective surgery at a time… We hope that at the end of the construction period, we would be able to have two emergency surgeries, multiple elective surgeries, therefore reducing the waiting time for the residents of Region Nine,” she told DPI.

Dr. Vaz said the health department had been in a “long battle” for the unit. However, its acquisition has allowed physicians to provide better care to patients.

“We use to get a lot of patients from Brazil coming over to access our services here and now that we have a digital system, that does not use a lot of resources. We hope to provide this service to them because we have a good relationship with the Brazilian health system and so it helped us to build the bond between two countries.”

Dr. Vaz said the administration is committed to providing improved healthcare services to its residents despite their geographic location. (Department of Public Information)