Residents of Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) will soon benefit from the reopening of its National Tuberculosis (TB) in-patient facility, also known as the “Step-Down Care Centre” located at the West Demerara Regional Hospital (WDRH). It is expected to be recommissioned on April 7.
This was revealed by National Tuberculosis Programme Manager, Dr Jeetendra Mohanlall, on Friday during a visit to the facility by Minister within the Public Health Ministry, Dr Karen Cummings.
The Step-Down Care facility serves as an in-patient unit for persons with severe
cases of TB that may require greater attention.
“We saw the need for this (in-patient facility) since a lot of our patients need nutritional and psycho-social support, especially those who are multi-drug resistant and could take as long as 18 months to two years to be treated and cured,” Dr Mohanlall was quoted by the Department of Public Information as saying.
The Programme Manager said the Centre would cater for 18 to 20 beds, including isolation rooms for both male and female patients, with a pharmacy, kitchen, and laundry among other areas factored in.
Minister Cummings said while she was satisfied with the current state of the facility, she expected other amenities to be offered that would not only benefit the patients but the staff assigned to the facility as well.
The Minister stressed that although the number of TB cases has been reduced significantly, the Public Health Ministry wanted to ensure that in addition to testing and treatment offered at the facility for chronic patients, an appropriate facility is in place to care for the patients.
According to statistics, during 2015, Region Four accounted for more than 50 per cent of the 439 new cases of TB recorded. The disease was extremely low in Regions Five, Eight and Nine, with a total of 18 new cases. Region Nine, however, recorded the lowest incidence – two cases, and Region Five the highest with ten.
In Regions One, Two, Three, Six, Seven and Ten, new cases ranged between 15 and 37, with Region Seven recording the lowest and Region Three the highest.