The first steps towards the establishment of a bilateral committee to address the strengthening of health services between Guyana and Brazil were taken on Friday with talks between Ministers of Health from the two countries. The discussions were held at the ministry’s boardroom.
Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence outlined some of the objectives that will be focused on, including collaboration with the School of Medicine of Brazil on Antidotes, laboratory exchanges and training in tropical diseases among others. The Minister added that her ministry is looking forward to continuing the training offered to local health officials in neighbouring Brazil.
“While we (government) had many other things listed, I would like to indicate also our gratefulness for the training we have received in the public health sector from your country. The persons who have been able to have those experiences and gain the necessary knowledge were able to come back to Guyana and to provide immense services to our people,” the minister said.
Minister Lawrence noted that Brazil’s willingness to assist in the eradication of Asthmatics has been welcomed by the administration. “We (government) want to ensure by sitting in this part of the world and on your border, that we can also be one of the countries on the list of Pan America Health Organization/ World Health Organization’s (PAHO/WHO) to have eradicated this disease.”
Brazil’s Health Minister Dr. Ricardo Jose Managaines Barros pointed out that the visit will help to advance several agenda items proposed by both countries that will further enhance cooperation on matters relating to health.
“We(Brazil) have a great interest in cooperation regarding border access especially due to Venezuelan migration tourism. We also have cooperation regarding serum for snake bites and we would also like to talk about the attention to the citizens of Guyana in Boa Vista hospital,” Dr. Barros said. He assured that assistance will be provided to correct shortfalls in the local health system, such as education/training, basic health coverage and structure.
It was highlighted that there is the need for reinforced primary health care service and health literacy to be tailored to residents in the hinterland and rural areas to ensure that persons are properly educated about health related-matters.
This visit comes days after the Ministry of Public Health expressed their interest in establishing a possible partnership with Brazil to provide improved healthcare services for residents in Regions Eight and Nine. The idea is to have persons residing in border communities utilise health care services in neighbouring Brazil rather than face hours of travel to access health care in Georgetown.
Minister Lawrence thanked her Brazilian counterpart and his team for their visit, noting that the meeting is expected to have several positive outcomes. “… we are very excited at having this meeting because we know what is coming out of this meeting is fruitful developments.”