An investigation by the Health and Sanitation Committee of Region Two into why a large amount of vaccines costing hundreds of thousands of dollars had to be discarded due to spoilage has commenced.
Speaking with Stabroek News in a recent interview at his Supenaam Office, Arnold Adams who serves as the Chairman of the Committee said that the initial investigation has revealed that the spoilage was due to the unreliable supply of electricity and also negligence by heath workers.
“At many of the health centres and health posts, the workers have to take the vaccines to another health centre to be stored. They have to uplift it, take it to a health centre that has electricity then go and collect the other day for work and it is time that this be changed. If solar panels are installed at each health centre, the heath workers will be able to store their vaccines right there. Only one health centre presently has a solar panel and that is Wakapoa which is miles in the Lower Pomeroon River. Sometimes the health workers do not take the vaccines to be stored and then they spoil as well so they need to do their jobs right too. Thousands of dollars had to be thrown away because the vaccines could not be stored properly.”
Adams noted that for health centres in the Pomeroon River that are not equipped with solar panels, it is impossible for vaccines to be stored and most times, the health workers are tasked with having to travel to Charity Hospital to store the vaccines and then return to uplift them whenever the vaccines are to be used. He further stated that workers who need to travel long distances to have the vaccines stored are often forced to wait lengthy periods before they are reimbursed the money they spent to travel. He said that those responsible for refunding the money should therefore ensure that this is done in the shortest period of time.
Adams said that his recommendation is that all the health centres be fully equipped with solar panels which will aid greatly in efficient health services being provided to the people of the region.