Minister within the Ministry of Health Dr Bheri Ramsaran and a team including Head of the Cuban Medical Brigade Dr Rody Cervantes on Thursday inspected works being conducted at the National Ophthalmology Hospital which is set to open soon.
According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release Ramsaran said the installation of equipment and the recruitment and training of local personnel will be completed in time for the facility to be commissioned in another few weeks. The hospital, the first of its type to be built in the Caribbean is expected to have the capacity to conduct about 10,000 eye surgeries yearly for corrective refractive error, cataract, glaucoma, and retinopathy and retina detachment.
The hospital became a reality following an agreement signed between the Guyana and Cuban governments following President Bharrat Jagdeo’s February 2006 visit there. The Cubans are also furnishing the hospital and providing staff including 14 medical personnel and two bio-medical technicians who are already assisting with the installation of equipment. According to GINA five ophthalmologists are stationed at the Diamond East Bank Demerara Regional Hospital and the Leonora, Suddie, and Mahaicony diagnostic and treatment centres.
They are part of a 40-member team that will operate the centre until Guyanese medical students currently undergoing training in Cuba return to do so. The ophthalmologists will be re-deployed to the hospital when it is commissioned to complement the existing medical staff there.
GINA said Region Six Chairman Zulfikar Mustapha and Regional Engineer Paul Lyken also formed part of the minister’s team.