Direct Relief recently sent a 38-pallet shipment to longtime partner Guyana Medical Relief to be distributed to four district hospitals treating people in need.
Assistance to these public hospitals is part of a healthcare system strengthening program currently supported through a grant from the IZUMI Foundation. The two-year program – which involves the provision of medical material resources to district and regional hospitals located in six of the ten administrative regions in the country – is designed to strengthen the country’s capacity to provide effective preventive, diagnostic, and curative medical services to people who would otherwise not be able to afford it.
Guyana faces numerous healthcare-related challenges that make it difficult for many of its residents to access quality medical services. These include widespread poverty, inequity, and disparities among social, ethnic, and geographic groups; a high burden of infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases, and injuries; a lack of roads and bridges affecting patient transport; medical professional brain drain, and slow overall economic growth.
Healthcare services are particularly difficult to access for Guyana’s Amerindian populations who live in remote forested areas in the country’s interior and are disproportionately affected by a wide range of medical conditions such as poor maternal and neonatal health, malnutrition, worm infestation, water-borne diseases, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and snake bites.
As Guyana suffers from a double burden of disease – a high incidence of both infectious and non-infectious diseases – the hospitals need to have significant quantities of pharmaceuticals to address both acute and chronic conditions. Although the facilities do receive some of the products they need from the Ministry of Health, persistent and prolonged shortages have left thousands of disadvantaged patients without the care they desperately need.
This Direct Relief shipment, which contained large quantities of medications donated by TEVA Pharmaceuticals, will enable health providers to treat patients in the most effective and appropriate manner possible. And, with adequate resources available for patients at the hospital level, medical products can be shared with district health centers and posts as well as with outreach teams of physicians and nurses who travel to Amerindian communities.