– specialists, laboratory to be addedThe Chinese Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in collaboration with the Public Health Ministry is putting measures in place to upgrade the Pakera Regional Hospital at Matthews Ridge, Region One (Barima-Waini).Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shamdeo PersaudThis was disclosed by Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Shamdeo Persaud, who told reporters that after the discovery of the histoplasmosis organism fungus which claimed the lives of two Chinese nationals who were working with the Guyana Manganese Company to clear a mine in the area, the Chinese CDC has been in talks with the Public Health Ministry here to offer much-needed assistance to upgrade medical facilities at the Pakera Hospital.According to Dr Persaud, the organisation has committed to upgrading the Pakera Hospital with the addition of specialists and a laboratory and X-ray department so as to enhance the services to members of those communities.This, he noted, will also aid in the delivery of timely and improved services being offered to patients in that region. The CMO added too that the Chinese CDC will also be assisting in the enhancement of the National Public Health Laboratory in Georgetown so that it will be able to facilitate additional testing locally, eliminating the need for samples to be sent overseas for such testing, creating delays in the facilitation of medical services to patients.In addition, Dr Persaud stated that the CDC has also donated equipment, medication and other medical supplies to the MOPH and they are also working to support other areas.Providing an update on the histoplasmosis organism outbreak in the region back in April which claimed the lives of two Chinese miners and affected 24 other workers, the CMO said the issue has been resolved as all affected workers were closely monitored and treated and are all fully recovered.The other Chinese workers who were medically evacuated to China after the death of their colleagues have also recovered and according to the last report received, Dr Persaud said no further occurrences were detected.He explained that the said organism is not deadly in patients whose immune systems are strong, however, the two workers died as a result of the large dosage of the fungus they inhaled during a prolonged period of time in the decades-old mines, which were filled with faeces of rats and bats.Dr Persaud pointed out that the Manganese Company, in keeping with recommendations from the Ministry, has since sealed off the mines where the incident occurred.Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is still evaluating the mine before giving approval to the Manganese Company to commence operations.In April last, 14 miners had to be air-dashed to the city after they fell ill resulting in one of them dying. The symptoms the men exhibited were pain, fever, headache and respiratory distress.They were all being treated in a secure area at the Georgetown Public Hospital, where a second miner succumbed to those symptoms. After samples were sent to Caribbean Reference Lab for further testing, it was discovered that the miners were infected with histoplasmosis organism, a fungus which results from exposure to droppings of rats and bats.
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