Over sixty persons were seen and diagnosed for treatment on the first day, Monday, as the annual Overseas Medical Assistance Team (OMAT) to Linden commenced this year’s six-day pro bono clinic at the Linden Hospital Complex.
Coordinator of the exercise, Linda Felix-Johnson said that six persons had surgery and five were referred for surgery.
The surgeries were done by Dr Stephen Carryl, born and bred in Linden, the current Chairman of Surgery at the Wyckoff Heights Hospital Centre in Brooklyn, NY, and President of OMAT. He is assisted by United States-based Trinidadian, Physician’s assistant Donna Constantine, who has worked with him for over twenty years.
Linden-born, Terry Gravesande, who is also based in the United States as a Physician’s assistant, was also involved in the altruistic mission, diagnosing persons, writing prescriptions and referring them for surgery.
The other members of the OMAT team included, Dr Carryl’s Grenadian-born wife, Jo Ann and Philene Blair – another Lindener.
They are being assisted by Linden-based, Ann Ramsey in the six-day exercise, between July 29 to August 3, where hundreds of people in Linden and the wider Region Ten are expected to benefit from free medical attention from the team of US based medical professionals.
According to Felix-Johnson, initially, thirteen professionals were earmarked to be on the OMAT team to Linden this year but the tour party was reduced to seven because of the current exorbitant price of airfares from the US.
“We will keep in contact with those who could not make it and at the earliest convenient opportunity we will put together a team for them to complete their part of this year’s mission,” Felix-Johnson said, adding that they were disappointed that they could not make the trip and have indicated that they are willing to come as soon as the airfares drop.
She also disclosed that among those who were unable to come at this time were an ophthalmologist, a gynaecologist, a dentist and an orthopaedic surgeon.
Anticipating that close to one hundred persons would show up on Tuesday, the second day of the exercise, Felix-Johnson, who recently vacated the post of Secretary of the New York Chapter of the Linden Fund USA (LFU) said this year’s mission is a collaborative endeavour with the Linden Fund USA (LFU) and the Women Of Mission International WOMI, which will also engage in a number of other activities during the six days.
Pointing out that the free medical programme will be held only in the morning on Thursday and Friday, Felix-Johnson said that the Community Outreach & Day Trip to Muritaro (up the Demerara River) is scheduled for Saturday, August 3.
Apart from medical treatment and surgeries at the Linden Hospital Complex, the medical mission will hold lectures for nurses at the Linden Hospital Complex, and a Health Fair and Lecture at the LEN building on Thursday, July 31, 2013 to educate the attendees on medical conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, HIV/AIDS; prostate, breast and cervical cancers.
A paediatric community outreach will also be held tomorrow at the Wisroc Paediatric Centre. Later, in the evening, a cocktail reception will be held for the visiting team and persons who assisted them on their mission. An invitation has been extended to the general public.
During the cocktail reception, the Regional Democratic Council, Region Ten, will present a plaque of appreciation to Dr Carryl, as the head of the OMAT team, for the altruistic contribution OMAT has made in providing free medical attention to the region.
The Linden IMC will also present a plaque of appreciation to a representative of the Linden Fund USA (LFU) for the sterling contribution it has made to Linden in the health and education sectors for almost two decades.