The Health Ministry will soon be launching a pilot project in Guyana’s hinterland regions to curb the spread of malaria.
This was announced on Thursday at a Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) meeting at its North Road office.
Director of Vector Control Ser-vices within the Ministry of Health Dr. Reyaud Rahaman told the meeting the project would commence from January 1st and would last for six months.
He said it would mainly target Region Eight, which he described as a “malaria hotspot.” However, he said regions One and Seven will also be in line to benefit from assistance. All medication and services during the duration of the project will be free, such as tablets, Rapid Diagnosis Tests (RDTs) and public awareness campaigns.
Rahaman also said that the RDTs would function as a self-diagnosis kit, explaining that instead of employers taking their workers miles to a health facility, they would be able to conduct on the spot diagnoses.
He further explained that the RDT kits would also be able to determine the type of malaria an infected person may have, which would give the caregiver an idea as to which medication should be used. Medication would be provided beforehand, he noted.
Rahaman said training would also be done to educate villagers about RDTs. Miners would also be required to report cases and submit timely reports back to the Vector Control Services unit for quality control and extended study purposes.
He also encouraged miners to contribute to the cause by keeping their surroundings clean and attending lectures which would be implemented shortly at school and villages in their mining areas.
The Ministry had announced at the start of last year that mining districts, which have seen population spikes due to the growing involvement in mining, would be targeted for malaria sensitisation and treatment activities.
This included the distribution of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs)—nets treated in the factory with an insecticide incorporated into the net fabric—primarily in areas in regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine.