More than a dozen healthcare professionals attached to the Caribbean Medical Mission (CMM) travelled to Guyana last week Saturday to conduct a week of medical outreach.
CMM was founded in 1996 by six physicians and three nurses, with the aim of treating underprivileged people in the Caribbean. They have been travelling to Guyana for at least a decade. Dr James Cort heads the team that comes to Guyana.
The volunteers, who originated from the Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and the East Orange General Hospital, specialize in a number of areas, including oncology, gastroenterology and neurology.
Their outreach took them to New Amsterdam, Berbice and other areas around Georgetown, where medical clinics were set up.
One volunteer, Dr Trevor Dixon, founder of JAHJAH foundation, a non-governmental organization that conducts outreaches in Jamaica, related to Stabroek News that the activities saw overwhelming support.
“The turnout was tremendous. There was actually two waves,” Dixon said in relation to the visit to New Amsterdam. “In the day we’d see a large group of patients. The first wave was in the morning usually, and then after 4 clock, another wave after people come from work.”
In Berbice, Dixon worked with the emergency department of the New Amsterdam Public Hospital, where he offered consultation on how to manage patients.
The majority of his time, however, was spent working alongside staff at the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), where he was able to spearhead a seminar for doctors attached to the A&E on the use of ultrasound in the emergency room on Tuesday.
Time spent in the environs of GPHC led Dixon to comment on what he believes is a job well done by Director of the A&E Dr Zulfikar Bux.
“I think he’s doing a great job as far as the A&E. Comparing what he’s doing here to the standards in the United States, he’s very close to it,” Dixon said. “A lot of the challenges that he has here are the same challenges that I have in my environment there. There are a lot of patients that are boarding in the emergency room a lot longer than they have to because there’s only limited space in the emergency room and there are a lot of patients that are admitted in the hospital so you know, I was able to share some of the frustration he has with moving patients through the emergency room and the long wait time that patients experience in the waiting room too.”
Describing the distribution of drugs and care in the A&E Department of GPHC as efficient, the doctor further stated that working at the A&E Department of the hospital for him was encouraging, as it made him see what can be done for Jamaica.
“I think Jamaica and Guyana have a unique relationship and I enjoyed coming here to see the similarities between the two cultures and hopefully we can work together to make a better Caribbean,” he added.
The CMM lasted for a week.