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Govt responding to sick, starving migrants in Region 1

Following reports of Amerindian migrants including children, who have entered Guyana from neighbouring Venezuela, being sick and are staving in Region One (Barima-Waini), the Government of Guyana has made emergency interventions to bring relief to those in need.

In a statement today, government said emergency medical and food items have been made available to the migrants, while additional supplies and care personnel have been dispatched to the region.

See below for the full statement from government:

The Government of Guyana is aware of the Amerindian migrants at Anabisi, Port Kaituma, North West District, and has been attending to the situation. It is suspected that dozens of Amerindians including children may have entered Guyanese territory from a neighbouring village in Venezuela in poor health and without food.

Several Government agencies with a presence in the region have already responded with emergency interventions, providing immediate medical and food relief.

As an additional measure, a ministerial team of central responders departed the city today for Port Kaituma with additional supplies. The team will coordinate with other stakeholders that have been involved in collaborative work to ensure a holistic intervention.

The aircraft will remain on the ground to assist with medical evacuations which may become necessary.

The Government of Guyana remains mindful of its humanitarian obligations to migrants and has been actively engaged in sustained efforts to deliver food and medical relief across the regions where migration into Guyana is taking place.

Further, the Government remains committed to the humane management of the migrant situation stemming from the economic and social instability in neighboring Venezuela, with the active support of local stakeholders and our international partners.

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Children’s rights NGO welcomes govt’s emergency response to malnourished children

in Health, News Sunday, 21 November 2021, 12:31 0 Comments -- Last Updated on Sunday, 21 November 2021, 12:39 by Denis Chabrol -- Source --

Ms. Ayo Dalgety-Dean

The non-governmental children’s welfare organisation, Blossom, on Sunday welcomed government’s medical assistance to dozens of sick and malnourished Venezuelan Indigenous Warrau children living on the edge of the Port Kaituma River.

β€œI’m very happy that the Warrau people are receiving the support that they need,” said Head of Blossom, Ayodele Dalgety-Dean.

She said Blossom β€œworks ethically” and the the national systems were informed on Thursday. The Guyana government on Saturday rushed more food supplies to Anabisi and other areas as well as deployed a high-level ministerial team who included Drs. Frank Anthony and Vindhya Persaud. Other doctors from the Georgetown Public Hospital were also part of the team.

Ms. Dalgety-Dean pledged that her organisation would continue to engage with the Guyana government in the interest of Guyanese who are in dire need. β€œBlossom will continue to work collaboratively with the govt to support vulnerable children and families in Guyana,” she said.

The Guyana government has conceded that the Warraus at Anabisi were in β€œpoor health and without food”, but the Minister of Human Services Dr. Vindhya Persaud has rejected reports that they were facing starvation and dying.

Blossom has reported that one child has so far died and another critically ill child has been transported to the Georgetown Public Hospital.

Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony was quoted by government’s Department of Public Information that four children and their mother were taken to the Port Kaituma Hospital. They were reportedly suffering from skin rash, diarrheal diseases and conjunctivitis (pink eye).

Dr. Vindhya Persaud and Dr. Frank Anthony during a medical outreach at Anabisi, Port Kaituma River

Ms. Dalgety-Dean is a trained Family Therapist who has completed post-graduate work in Systemic Practice with Children and Families.

Government was scheduled to dispatch another medical team to the area on Sunday.

Prime Minister Mark Phillips said that government has been providing food and other supplies as well as other forms of support to migrant Venezuelans.

They have been fleeing the harsh socio-economic and political conditions in their homeland, partly due to a prolonged slump in global oil prices, a gripping foreign exchange shortage and international sanctions over widespread suspicions of electoral malpractice.

Venezuelan child refugees treated for diarrhoea, skin rashes at Anabisi

Nov 23, 2021 News -- Source -- Kaieteur News Online -- https://www.kaieteurnewsonline...n-rashes-at-anabisi/

Kaieteur News – Over the weekend, local health authorities were able to treat about 50 Venezuelan children who were found suffering from diarrhoea, skin rashes and other infections at Anabisi, Port Kaituma, Region One.

The Ministerial and health teams who attended to the migrants. (Photo: Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud.)

The intervention came following reports that a group of Amerindian migrants including children were found in poor health and some severely malnourished at Anabisi.

A team of Government officials subsequently rushed to the location on Saturday to provide needed medical care to the group.
According to the Office of Prime Minister on Saturday, the group may have migrated from neighbouring Venezuela.

Kaieteur News has since learnt that the migrants who are from the Warrau tribe, were found along the riverbank of Port Kaituma, in makeshift camps some 10 minutes away from where local residents reside.

β€œThe Government of Guyana is aware of the Amerindian migrants at Anabisi, Port Kaituma, North West District and has been attending to the situation. It is suspected that dozens of Amerindians including children may have entered Guyanese territory from a neighbouring village in Venezuela in poor health and without food,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement noted.

Providing immediate medical care and food relief on Saturday were Ministers of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud and Amerindian Affairs’ Pauline Sukhai.
They were also joined by several doctors from the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and the Port Kaituma Hospital.

Though it was reported in other sections of the media that the children were severely ill and dying of starvation, Minister Persaud has since refuted the claims to say no child was critical or starving as reported.

β€œWe arrived at the Warrau settlement and found poor living conditions but no children dying of starvation as was portrayed by the media and on social media,” she shared in Facebook post.

The Minister explained in her post, that she along with Dr. Neil Samwarooβ€”a paediatrician at the GPHCβ€”had examined the children and found cases of impetigo (skin rashes / infection), diarrhoeal diseases, conjunctivitis commonly known as β€˜red eye’ and general flu symptoms and they were provided with the necessary medications.

She noted however, that four children with skin infections along with a neonate (newborn) with fever had to be referred to the Port Kaituma Hospital for treatment.

During the emergency intervention, the team provided food hampers along with safe drinking water.

Minister Anthony during his daily COVID-19 update yesterday said, while the children were treated for those illnesses, on Sunday when the medical team returned to the location, they were also able to detect cases of malaria among the adult population.

β€œOn Sunday, the team saw 42 adults, and again we saw similar type of illnesses among the adults, in addition to which we were able to detect among the group, some cases of malaria and again, they were given treatment based on the medical condition they have,” he related.

The Minister during his interview clarified that there was no emergency medical cases, but some of the children that they attend to, were chronically malnourished.

Another observation, he highlighted, was that the group was living in an unhygienic environment.

β€œWhat we found generally in the camp is that it is very unhygienic because you have a lot of people living together, the team estimated that there are 198 persons, living in very close proximity and they are from 25 different families. So because of the unhygienic conditions, they are using the same water from the river, and they are using the river to wash and do other things there, the water is of no quality,” he added.

In response to this, the migrants were provided with β€˜jerry cans’, which would allow them to filter the water, making it safer for them to use.

According to Dr. Anthony, discussions were also held on ways, which they can dispose of their garbage properly and areas where they can use to set up toilets.

In collaboration with the Region’s authorities, the Minister stated that a system has been put in place, which would allow the migrants to access the needed medical care at the Port Kaituma Hospital.

Speaking with Kaieteur News yesterday, Regional Chairman of the Regional Democratic Council (Region One), Brentnol Ashley, assured that his officers are working closely with the people at Anabisi, in ensuring that they receive the assistance they need.

He added that a number of foods hamper and safe water has been distributed to the people. According to Ashley, over the past months, his officials would have been distributing a number of items to migrants who have settled in the Region One area.

The Regional Chairman shared too that they are currently working on getting a water system in place for the persons in Anabisi.

Additionally, they are teaming up with stakeholders on ways they can get some of the migrants to be employed in the Region.

β€œWe are working continuously to see how we can better the condition for the people at Anabisi,” he related.

Venezuelan migrants can access health services at Port Kaituma – Health Minister

Systems are now in place for Venezuelan migrants to access medical services at the Port Kaituma District Hospital, following a recent government outreach to the Anabisi, Barima-Waini (Region One).

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony MP, during Monday’s COVID-19 update, explained that persons from the community have been identified to liaise with the regional health officers and the hospital to access the services.

β€œIf they have any medical challenges, they will be able to sort them out very quickly. They don’t have to wait on an intervention like this. They now have a systematic way if they have any problems, that they can come to the Port Kaituma hospital and get access to medical service.”

On Saturday, Minister Anthony and other ministers of government, along with a medical team visited the Region One community to provide medical care and assess the needs in response to reports of the circumstances migrants are facing.

Reports state some 198 persons from 25 families have settled in the area, located approximately 15 minutes from Port Kaituma.

The medical team examined 20 children on Saturday.  The children were treated for skin rashes, upper respiratory and diarrhoeal diseases. The health minister disclosed that four children were taken to the Port Kaituma Regional Hospital for further medical treatment.  Another medical team returned on Sunday to continue examining the migrants.

Dr. Anthony noted that in addition to providing healthcare services, measures are being put in place to ensure that the migrants are living in a clean and sanitary environment.

β€œSo, because of the unhygienic conditions, they’re using the same water from the river and they’re using the river to wash and do other things there. So, the water is not of good quality and what we were able to do on Sunday, we gave them somewhat is called jerry cans which have filters in them so when they take the water from the river, they can do some level of filtration … which will help to purify the contaminated water, making it better for them to drink and which will prevent some of the diarrhoeal diseases that they are experiencing.”

He added: β€œIn addition to that, a senior health environmental officer would have explained to them how to dispose of their garbage and to work with them to find an area next to the community where they can dispose of their garbage. We also worked with them to find a suitable area where they can set up toilets and so forth so that they are not defecating in the same water that they’re using to drink.”

Mosquito nets for hammocks will also be distributed to the migrants, so that they may have some protection from vector-borne diseases.

Additionally, the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) has distributed hampers containing essential items and food.

The Government of Guyana remains committed to the humane management of the migrant situation stemming from the socio-economic situation in neighbouring Venezuela. (Department of Public Information)

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