St. Ignatius gets first health centre
Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, at the ribbon cutting ceremony to commission the new health centre in St. Ignatius
Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, at the ribbon cutting ceremony to commission the new health centre in St. Ignatius

-schools for Taushida, Fly Hill

A NEW Health Centre has been commissioned in the central Rupununi Savannahs Amerindian village of St. Ignatius, Region Nine (Upper Takutu – Upper Essequibo), on Monday last, by Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall.

The facility is expected to benefit at least 2,000 residents of the village and persons traversing to the township of Lethem. The new $14 million facility is the fourth in the region, which will complement the existing three in Annai, Karasabai and Sand Creek. There are also 51 health posts dispersed across the Region while there are the District Hospital in Aishalton and the Regional Hospital in Lethem.

Dharamlall, during an interview with the Sunday Chronicle, noted that the new facility will help to ease the burden on the Lethem Hospital, while at the same time enhance the delivery of health care services in the region. He explained that the services offered at the facility will be on par with that offered at any health centre in the country, and a doctor will be visiting the health centre at least once per week to assist the Medex who will be stationed at the facility.

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, meeting with the residents of Kokshebai located in the South Pakaraimas mountain range

“The issue of healthcare in the regions is a very significant issue and we have to get on top of it. The health system has not been performing very well in the last five years and it is our intention to enhance the level of services in all of the health facilities in the country,” Dharamlall told this newspaper.
“So this facility in Region Nine and, specifically St. Ignatius, which is one of the most populated Amerindian villages in the country and has a heavy flow of people in and out of the area, is much needed,” he said.

While visiting the Upper Takutu – Upper Essequibo Region, Dharamlall took the first vehicle drive into the Kokshebai community, which is a satellite of the Taushida Amerindian Village, located in the South Pakaraimas Mountain range.
“Now we know that a vehicle could traverse the route, we will have to do some upgrades to the trail; it will help with emergency situations; it will also help with taking more goods into the community which will inevitably help to reduce the cost of living,” the Minister noted.

Dharamlall informed the Sunday Chronicle that one of the prevalent complaints of residents in the area is that of school children having to traverse some nine miles to get to school. As a result, a school will be constructed in the area to resolve this issue.

“We thought a school is necessary, there are over 50 school children in the area so it is a daily struggle for those families to get their children to school, so a school will be built there,” he said.
Dharamlall further noted that a school will also be constructed in Fly Hill, in the North Rupununi district. In this same community, as well, the ministry plans to complete the upgrading of a health post, which commenced under the previous government; even though a total of $12 million was spent, the facility was incomplete since 2018.

“We will also be upgrading the health post at Masara. We have recently employed a Medex to work at the health post and that will serve as a centre for various villages around. We will also upgrade the Yakarinta Health Post. It is in a very dilapidated state and we have to put some resources into it,” Dharamlall said.

The minister highlighted that one of the important factors conducive to the development of the communities within the region is for residents to be employed when the contracts are being executed.

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