Health Ministry to get US$1.8M to boost ICUs
Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony
Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony

THE Ministry of Health is set to receive a US$1.8M grant from the Global Fund to enhance Intensive Care Units (ICUs) across the country, Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony, has disclosed.
Speaking during his COVID-19 update on Thursday, the minister said that the Global Fund is an international organisation that supports programmes run by local experts to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria epidemics. Noting the effects of the COVIID-19 pandemic, the Global Fund in 2020 made available applications for grants to aid in the fight against the deadly disease.
Minister Anthony noted that government having collaborated with the organisation in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, applied for funding about a month ago and recently received confirmation of the grant which will be used to compliment the resources at the regional health facilities across the country.

“As of this year the Global Fund opened a special window where countries can apply for a specific COVID-19 grant and we started that application about a month ago and we have put it in an some two days ago. Guyana has been very successful, they have written to us acknowledging that our proposal had been successful and so they will be funding us for the things that we have requested,” he stated.
He explained that one of the major undertakings from the grant will be the procurement of ventilators and monitors to ensure that all ICU patients have the necessary resources to recover from the virus.
At July 07, 2021, the Health Ministry indicated that 15 persons were receiving treatment at the ICU at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown, for COVID-19.

Minister Anthony noted the necessity of ICUs when treating patients who are experiencing severe symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, especially those who are experiencing respiratory issues and would need the aid of respirators to strengthen their breathing.
He noted that already the Health Ministry has expanded the ICU at the National Infectious Diseases Hospital at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown to accommodate 10 more beds. The hospital currently has 25 beds.
Minister Anthony said that while government hopes that the time would never come where all the units have to be filled, it is still pertinent to be prepared for any potential surge that may occur.

Minister Anthony further noted that it is along these lines of increased capacity that the ministry had applied for the grant, to compliment the resources currently in the hospitals. He highlighted that not all of the patients could be brought from their regions to the National Infectious Diseases Hospital in Region Four, and as such, strategic steps have been taken to ensure that adequate resources are provided to the regional health centres. “One of the things we have asked the Global Fund for are resources to ensure that in all our regional hospitals that we enhance our ICU capability. It would assist us in procuring monitors and ventilators and create a space in each one of the regional hospitals so that we could manage patients with severe COVID so we are expecting US$1.8M over the next couple of months to be able to do these activities,” the Health Minister stated.


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