Res­i­dents sus­pect ty­phoid out­break in Wakapoa

-say com­mu­nity lacks proper health­care ser­vices

Stabroek News - - NEWS -

Res­i­dents of Wakapoa, in Re­gion Two (Pomeroon Su­pe­naam), sus­pect that there is a ty­phoid out­break in the com­mu­nity, where the ab­sence of med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als and drugs at the com­mu­nity health cen­tre have be­come the norm.

At least eight per­sons from the vil­lage have been re­ported as hav­ing ty­phoid.

A res­i­dent, Sa­man­tha Thomas, sought to high­light the plight of those in her vil­lage in a re­cent Face­book post by call­ing on those in author­ity to look into the mat­ter. “Hello my friends, with a feel­ing of anx­i­ety and frus­tra­tion I reach out to you this evening to ask if any­one can re­fer me to the rel­e­vant author­i­ties for help for the folks of Wakapoa. Presently, there seems to be an out­break of ty­phoid in my com­mu­nity! With six per­sons from my fam­ily al­ready sick and in need of treat­ment!! There’s no doc­tor or medex at our health cen­tre and it is ap­par­ent we do not have any treat­ment here right now… Four mem­bers in my fam­ily [are] presently at Sud­die Hos­pi­tal talk­ing treat­ment… But it is very ex­pen­sive to travel to that hos­pi­tal and the re­quired tests are also ex­pen­sive,” Thomas wrote, while ask­ing for as­sis­tance to no­tify the Pub­lic Health Min­is­ter and other or­gan­i­sa­tions that could help the com­mu­nity.

Earl Thomas, an­other res­i­dent, told Stabroek News that of the es­ti­mated eight res­i­dents, at least four of them are chil­dren and they would have had to seek treat­ment out­side of the com­mu­nity.

“We had some pa­tients who went out and were con­firmed to have ty­phoid and we have had chil­dren who were taken out for dysen­tery… one of my broth­ers was also taken out to the hos­pi­tal for dysen­tery as well. There are a lot of per­sons who are af­fected,” he said.

Asked when the sus­pected out­break be­gan, Thomas ex­plained that res­i­dents have been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing bouts of ty­phoid since late last year and have been forced to seek treat­ment out­side of the vil­lage be­cause of the lack of med­i­ca­tion and health­care pro­fes­sion­als. “We have a health cen­tre with no drugs, no medex and no doc­tor…we only have a health worker who vis­its from time to time. But it’s not just ty­phoid, it’s malaria as well, sim­ple things like test­ing we can­not do here in the vil­lage,” he added.

Stabroek News was told that res­i­dents would either have to hire a boat at a cost of $40,000 or hope for a va­cant seat on a pas­sen­ger boat, at cost of $3,000, in or­der to travel to Char­ity and Sud­die to re­ceive treat­ment.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Thomas

stated that in the case of women who face high risk preg­nan­cies and other con­di­tions, they would have to travel all the way to the Sud­die Hos­pi­tal for treat­ment. While out there, he noted, the pa­tients would of­ten have to stay at the Amerindian Hos­tel for as long as a month just so they can re­ceive con­tin­u­ous treat­ment.

“Per­sons would have to travel all the way to Char­ity, which is 35 miles away from the vil­lage, to get treat­ment and that in it­self is ex­pen­sive be­cause you have to go by boat… a lot of per­sons have com­plained but noth­ing has been done; we hardly have any health of­fi­cials vis­it­ing us here, it re­ally feels as though there is a lack of con­cern on the part of of­fi­cials,” he added. Mean­while, Re­gional Chair­man De­vanand Ram­datt, in an in­vited com­mented, noted that while he has not re­ceived any re­ports of an out­break, he will make en­quiries at the Re­gional Demo­cratic Coun­cil’s meet­ing.

Com­ment­ing on the is­sue of the ab­sence of a doc­tor at the Wakapoa Health Cen­tre, Ram­datt said though sev­eral rec­om­men­da­tions were made to the Re­gional Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer (REO) to have med­i­cal per­son­nel sta­tioned there, the rec­om­men­da­tions are yet to be im­ple­mented.

Sev­eral at­tempts were made to con­tact Chief Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer (CMO) Dr. Shamdeo Per­saud as well as the Min­is­ter of Pub­lic Health Volda Lawrence for a com­ment on the is­sue, how­ever, th­ese were un­suc­cess­ful.

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