‘Red eye’ outbreak in Region 2

…no eye drops at hospital – health official

Due to the lack of drugs and essential services at the two public hospitals on the Essequibo Coast, health-care delivery in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) has been on the decline, and residents have been made to shoulder the financial burden of providing for their health-care needs.
This is according to the Chairman of the Region Two Health and Sanitation Committee, People’s Progressive Party Councillor Arnold Adams, whose comments came in light of residents being turned away from the hospital’s pharmacy, since no eye drops are available for patients suffering from viral conjunctivitis (Red Eye).
Region Two Health Officer Afarah Khan, confirming an increase in the number of Viral Conjunctivitis (Red Eye) cases reported in the region over the past few weeks, told Guyana Times in an interview that Suddie Hospital staff have, since the start of June, reported a high number of Viral Conjunctivitis cases; and as at Thursday last, the number of such cases had risen to the hundreds.
She cautioned that residents must be mindful of the presence of the bacteria around them, as the infection spreads easily throughout the household; and she urged that necessary precautions must be taken to prevent contracting the disease.

Lack of drugs
Khan disclosed that the Suddie Hospital does not have the requisite eye drops to treat the virus because the Public Health Ministry (MPH) has not provided the hospital with any; but she noted that the region was able to procure some by means of its health budget.
Against the backdrop of there being an increase in cases of the virus, Chairman of the Health and Sanitation Committee, Arnold Adams, has confirmed that there is a major drug shortage at the region’s hospitals.
Several residents suffering from the disease have expressed dissatisfaction at the untimely manner in which the Public Health Ministry is procuring drugs. One single mother has said that she is “broke” (has no money) and cannot afford to purchase drops for her child’s eye. She said she had gone to the hospital with the hope she would receive the drops, but was surprised to instead be given a prescription and told to purchase the item.
“The poor are suffering. I went to the public hospital cause I couldn’t afford to go to a private pharmacy, but I was told that they don’t have drops,” the young mother related.

The symptoms of Viral Conjunctivitis making the rounds include a gravel and sticky feeling in the eye, severe redness of the eye, and pain if the infection is prolonged. (Indrawattie Natram)