By the end of 2019 Region Seven, Cuyuni-Mazaruni will have improved access to psychiatric care and services with the provision of a new psychiatrist.

Minster of Public Health Volda Lawrence made this announcement today in the indigenous community of St. Mary’s village. The psychiatrist is one of four young doctors currently specialising in psychiatry in Cuba.

Minister Lawrence also announced that Region 9 has recently trained an additional 32 Community Health Workers from 16 villages across the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo Region.

“We are working towards ensuring that Guyanese are the healthiest they can be,” Minister Lawrence 20190620 1

She added that “The government has been putting a lot of money into health” because it recognizes the importance of decentralising health services so that all regions have accessible and affordable quality health services.

The Public Health Ministry has been sending specialist doctors from the coast to Regional Hospitals in order to improve the quality of service these residents receive.

With a psychiatrist assigned to St. Mary’s, Region 7 will finally experience continuous psychiatric speciality care and real health solutions.

The ministry has also trained all of its General Medical Officers (GMOs) in basic psychiatric care. According to Lawrence, this means that “any doctor you go to now has the ability to recognize if you need special care [and provide basic treatment options].”

All of these initiatives are a testimony of the Government’s commitment to ensuring the disparities that exist between the Hinterland and the coast are eventually eradicated to allow all Guyanese to have equal access to all services regardless of geography.

Following the engagement, one resident spoke of the community’s lack of resources to continue their once annual Vacation Bible School (VBS) which provided a safe youth-friendly space for the children in the village. In response, Minister Lawrence made a commitment to make a personal contribution to the VBS and for the provision of a ‘Back to school package’ for the 20190620

Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Valerie Garrido-Lowe who also spent the day engaging St. Mary residents assured them of her Ministry’s commitment to their sustainable development.

She informed the residents of the Hinterland Employment and Youth Services (HEYS), a flagship project of the current administration aimed at creating business savvy entrepreneurs in Hinterland areas.

“HEYS caters for young people to give them a second lease on life,” Minister Garrido-Lowe explained.

The third HEYS course will begin at the end of 2019. Among the areas of learning, participants undertake during their six-month stint are Mathematics, English, Capacity Building, Life skills, Public speaking, Agriculture, Eco-tourism and Business studies. To date, HEYS has benefitted over 4,000 from several indigenous communities across the country

The community outreach to St. Mary’s village follows the ninth instalment of the Government Comes to You Outreach and Cabinet meeting held in Bartica on Wednesday.