US military team begins 2-week medical mission in Guyana


The United States’ Lesser Antilles Medical Assistance Team (LAMAT) is presently in Guyana to conduct an exchange knowledge programme and a medical outreach. They are working in partnership with the Health Ministry.

The team will perform surgical operations, provide dental services, and conduct professional knowledge exchanges from February 20 to March 3 as part of the U.S. Southern Command’s (USSOUTHCOM’s) Enduring Promise mission.

LAMAT is a medical team composed of approximately 29 U.S. Air Force and Army medical and dental professionals and support staff who will provide free general surgery, emergency room care, and dental care at Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and West Demerara Regional Hospital (WDRH).

Master Sgt. Timothy McClelland LAMAT Biomedical Equipment Technician receives a tour of the emergency department at GPHC. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sen)

Ministry of Health Deputy Director for Regional Health Services, Dr. Veronica Griffith welcomed the team at GPHC and expressed excitement about developing the military-civilian partnership between the U.S. team and the medical professionals in Guyana.

LAMAT operations have been coordinated with the Health Ministry and hospital medical directors to take advantage of additional operating room capacity without displacing medical providers. U.S. medical professionals will work in tandem with local doctors to ensure continuity of care following all surgical procedures.

The team brings with it the medicines and supplies necessary for the operations and will leave surplus supplies with the hospital. Overall, approximately $225,000 USD of supplies are being donated to medical facilities.

Patients are selected in coordination with hospital medical directors, based on the types of surgeries and procedures the U.S. medical team is certified to perform; primarily GI surgeries such as hernias and cyst excisions. The U.S. dental team will focus on treating underserved populations, concentrating on cleaning, fillings, extractions and preventative care.

“My team is humbled to have been invited by the Ministry of Health and U.S. Ambassador to Guyana to participate in this much-needed operation,” LAMAT Mission Commander, Lt. Col. Gentry Mobley related.

“It is important to the U.S. to provide whatever help we can to take care of people in need.  Our team is prepared to engage in Guyana, whether that be in the operating theater, the dental clinic, helping with emergency room, or experiencing the culture.”

In addition to Guyana, the LAMAT team completed operations in Suriname and will proceed to St. Lucia to conduct medical assistance operations, providing relief to overwhelmed medical facilities and improving the region’s collective ability to meet complex global challenges.