NY medical mission hosts seminars on asthma, suicide

Seminars on paediatric asthma and suicide were recently conducted by doctors of the non-profit organisation New York Guyana Mission (NYGM) at the Georgetown Public Hospital.

Dr. Vyas Persuad, a New York Psychiatrist who presented the lecture on suicide, stated that his topic was chosen because of the escalating suicide rate seen in Guyana. He said that it was aimed at equipping and educating medical personnel on identifying and treating illnesses commonly associated with suicide, such as depression and bipolar disorder. He further added that other contributing factors to suicide include alcoholism, age, race and gender. Persaud advised the participants of the seminar to keep researching data on suicide in order to keep abreast with the global medical fraternity.

A member of the New York Guyana Mission (fourth from left) makes the donation to Georgetown Hospital representative Owen John.

Meanwhile, Dr. Acklema Mohammad, a practicing paediatrician and Head of the Paediatric Department of Urban Health Plan INC, a New York City local hospital, lectured on paediatric asthma. She said she was informed by the health ministry that there is a rise in cases of asthma in children here.

This rise, she said was attributed to global pollution as well as present technology to allow early diagnosis. Mohammed advised parents to always be vigilant with their children’s health and to monitor their children’s coughs, as this is the first symptom of asthma. Any cough which lasts for more than a week and is most common at nights is a sign that the child might possibly have asthma. Shortness of breath, feeling tired or wheezing after play and exercise were also listed as symptoms. Mohammad added that most persons wait until their child has reached the hospitalisation stage before seeking treatment, when early detection could have remedied the problem.

This is the first NYGM trip and it was made on the invitation of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security. Given the positive feedback and support the doctors have received from Minister of Health Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, the team plans to make their Medical Outreach programme an annual one.

Meanwhile, the group donated a laptop computer and a digital projector to the critical care programme of the Georgetown Public Hospital.

The items were handed over at a presentation ceremony held at the Multi-purpose Room of the hospital.

Owen John, Assistant Director of Nursing Services/In service Education Coordinator at the hospital, expressed gratitude to the donors, while noting that the institution would use the items for the delivery of lectures. He added that given the technological era in which we live, students as well as lecturers will be pleased with the donation, which will facilitate and enhance learning.

Vyda Persaud, a member of the mission, informed that it was scheduled to arrive in Guyana just 10 minutes behind the Caribbean Airlines flight which crash landed at the airport on Saturday, July 30. However, the doctors’ flight had to return and it was not until the following day that they were able to secure another flight to Guyana. This process delayed the programme and two days of planned humanitarian work had to be aborted. The group held clinics at various children’s homes across the country.

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