Tuesday, August 19, 2014

How Do You Go About Fixing Things?

Well -- thanks to the generosity of the people at American universities, I have been amusing myself watching MOOCs and other You Tube videos. I took a double take at a University of Berkeley one which was talking about surveillance... without knowing where cases are... what action can we take?

This is sooo applicable to Guyana: one always gets a feeling that something devious is afoot with all  the cloak and dagger stuff - statistics are not published on a regular basis and some official is second-guessing why you want one.  For instance, I have noted that there are increasing anecdotes about a form of dengue fever in the Eastern part of Guyana - some call it Chikungunya virus but in the absence of a Lab in Berbice -- it could be another form of dengue as the symptoms are alarmingly the same: high fever for about a week, severe aches in the joints-- to the extent that mobility is affected and lasting several weeks, general lassitude. There were odd cases back in May which then snowballed to practically everyone in Berbice knowing someone who had it-- worse hit seem the villages in central Corentyne.  The outpatient clinics at the Public facilities are filled to overflowing and as I commented - the private doctors are raking in the profits by charging for some kind of pain-killing injection at $5000 (U$25) a pop whose effects do not even last a day - in fact their clinics are so busy the quacks have taken up the slack and even the pharmacies are selling the injection directly for $3000.  In the meantime-- not a word from the Ministry of Health -- who usually swing straight into denial mode and protestations of having a system in place!
I personally find it appalling that the people up there are uninformed about the type of mosquito to avoid--  the daytime ones-- particularly the ones with white bands and that the local councils are not pro-active in clearing sources of standing water.  I have seen a few informative newspaper ads in one of the local papers but I feel it is a lazy approach. Here is one recent (private) reporting on the problem: http://www.stabroeknews.com/2014/news/stories/07/25/chikungunya-cases-rise/     but as someone commented it is a shame to have to pay to read about a national Disaster in the making!           On the other hand, my dealing with the Ministry of Health some years back, was that they had spent their budget roughly 6 months in advance so clearly have no money to do anything while the Government is finding millions of dollars to give a favoured few to 'celebrate' the freeing of the slave population back in the 1800s -- wise move people!
So first move is a dispassionate analysis of what is wrong/seems to be the problem....

Post Script: Ebola was first brought to the attention of 'authorities' by a doctor in Guinea who noticed that three patients had died of cholera-like symptoms-- unlike Guyana, his superior forwarded the information until it reached the Ministry of Health

1 comment:

  1. you get de name wrong is CHICKENGUNYA (as everybody calling it.) Is like everybody seh they getting it. I wondering meself is is really dat or just dengue or something. Mosquito biting so bad on East Coast i walking with Mozipel in my handbag to work!