Craig health centre offers personalised healthcare 

Doctor-in-Charge Anila Ramphal of the Craig Health Centre (Carl Croker photos)

 By Michel Outridge

EVEN though it is not a high-traffic health centre, the services provided there are reliable and personalised.

Doctor-in-Charge Anila Ramphal told the Pepperpot Magazine that she has been at the location for close to 10 years and she is comfortable there while doing her bit to serve the community.

Rony Rogers of the Guyana Chronicle taking his filaria pills administered by Nurse Walker at the
health centre

“I am originally from Eccles, also on the East Bank of Demerara, but I have been here close to 10 years and I like working here with the people in the community; and I figured that is the reason why I am here for so long,” she said.

With the staff of 12 including herself, Dr Ramphal reported that they provide the needed services to the general public more so, the residents of Craig.

“I like the fact I can talk to patients on a one-on-one basis and explain things to them in detail; and here you can spend time to discuss health care issues with folks because at a hospital the setting is different; you don’t get the time to give patients the time to do so,” she said.

Dr Ramphal stated that at a large hospital the most you can do at times is to write prescriptions for the patient based on their health complaint; because of the patient-flow, it is difficult to spend a lot of time with one patient, since many others are waiting.

“In a hospital, you can only do so much, but here you can explain things in detail and get to understand the patient better and learn of their health issues for a proper diagnosis,” Dr Ramphal said.

She related that the most seen patients are those suffering from chronic diseases and an entire day is set aside, especially to see those patients which would amount to 50 to 80 daily.

Dr. Ramphal explained that chronic diseases are serious and they are very prevalent in our society today, given the fact that people have more access to artificial snacks, beverages and foods and the high levels of saturated and trans fats they have.

A section of the pharmacy at the health centre

“It is the saturated fats, the oils we keep re-using; as Guyanese we save and re-use many things including cooking oil, instead of using fresh oil to fry and cook foods,” she said.

She pointed out that it is healthier to cook fresh foods daily and do so with limited oil rather than consuming artificially flavoured foods and foods high in preservatives.

Dr Ramphal stated that we should emulate our fore-parents, who cooked fresh vegetables and meats daily and ate normally with mostly organic food products and they lived longer and healthier.

“If your plate is colourful at meal-time that is eating healthy with the needed greens and meat and not forgetting fruits,” she said.

Dr Ramphal noted that having fried chicken isn’t all that bad for your health, since everything we consume can be done in moderation and once we trim off the skin and fats from meats and use less oil, but fresh, it is safe to eat in portions too.

She added that these days fast food outlets re-use oils and even use lard to mass fry chicken and that is excessive trans and saturated fats we put in our bodies.

Dr. Ramphal said too, the way we store our cooked foods affects our health; cooked foods should not be out in the open for more than four hours after cooking, since it is after that time that bacteria invade food.

She pointed out that cold foods should be stored in the refrigerator, while hot foods should be re-heated before consuming.

The doctor related that with the schools nearby they treat a lot of pupils with minor cuts and bruises due to accidents at school and the common seasonal illnesses such as cold and flu.

The Craig Health Centre is opened from Mondays to Thursdays from 08:00hrs to 16:30hrs and on Fridays they are opened form 08:00hrs to 15:30hrs.

Ironically, Nurse Walker was in house with her team to distribute the filaria pills and the team from the Pepperpot Magazine seized the opportunity to have their pills.

Nurse Walker was allotted a room especially for that purpose and is the Supervisor for the Filaria Pills Distribution group that is based at the Craig Health Centre.