Stan Brock , the founder of Remote Area Medical (RAM) , a medical volunteer mission which has been operating in Guyana for several decades , died on Wednesday in Knoxville, Tennessee in the United States at the age of 82.
According to the organisation’s website , Brock began his medical mission in 1985. ” Mr. Brock has been a tireless advocate for those in need, and through his leadership, RAM has provided free care to more than 740,000 individuals,” the organisation noted.
Brock travelled to Georgetown, British Guiana in 1952 at the age of 17. He found work at the Dadanawa Ranch, managing the world’s largest cattle ranch operation encompassing 4,000-square miles of rain forest and savannah. Dadanawa at that time contained over 30,000 Longhorn cattle and wild horses within the ranch.
He later became a certified bush pilot and it was during those early years that his vision for a medical outreach started , following an injury in the Rupununi.
After achieving national fame, Brock founded Remote Area Medical – in 1985—keeping his promise to the Wapishana nation in Guyana. RAM was initially founded to serve as a safety net provider of free medical care in remote areas of developing countries like Guyana, but almost immediately after beginning operations, Brock began receiving requests to operate medical clinics in the United States.
RAM still operates a free, year-round, air ambulance program in Guyana, providing emergency medical transportation to villagers in need of immediate health care services.
The Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) in the past utilised the Lethem hospital in the Rupununi to conduct surgeries, including hysterectomies.
The Ministry of Health in the past partnered with the organisation in supplementing efforts with medication, blood, injections and other tools, while the team provided the skilled personnel. Additionally, Guyanese nurses, with theatre skills, were also mobilised to work along with the RAM team.
“Without Brock, RAM would not have been able to prevent pain and alleviate suffering for so many people. While Brock’s death is a great loss to the organization, RAM will continue championing his legacy and caring for those in need,” the organisation noted on its website.