Guyana gets US$1.8M grant to boost ICU capacity

- more ICU beds for ‘COVID’ hospital

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Guyana has been successful in its application for a Global Fund grant and as such, it will be receiving US $1.8 million to enhance the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity in all of the regional hospitals across Guyana.

The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is an international financing and partnership organisation that has been a partner of Guyana’s health sector for a number of years. Last year, the Fund allowed some of its funds to be used to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.

On Thursday, Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony during his COVID-19 update, highlighted that the Fund opened a special window allowing countries to apply for a specific COVID-19 grant. Guyana had applied for the grant and about two days ago, the country was informed that it was successful.

“With this particular request, one of the things that we have asked the global fund for is resources to ensure that in all of our regional hospitals we enhance our ICU capacity.

“So these funds would assist us in adding ICU type of beds, it would also assist us in procuring monitors and ventilators and create a space in each one of the regional hospitals so that we can manage patients with severe COVID,” the Health Minister said.

Within the context of COVID-19, those severely affected patients who require hospitalisation could also receive treatment in the ICU. Those patients who usually have difficulties breathing, after being infected with COVID-19, are treated in the ICU.

Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony.

Dr. Anthony also explained that the US $1.8 million would be received over the next few months.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister also highlighted that the ministry has added 10 extra ICU beds to the National Infectious Disease Hospital at Liliendaal, Georgetown.

The facility had 25 beds which would cater for 25 severely ill patients. He said that from time to time, there could be surges in the number of people infected with COVID-19 resulting in a greater number of people who may become hospitalised.

As such, the extra beds replete with ventilators and monitors would help to provide extra capacity for treatment in case there are surges in the number of infected people who require ICU care.

The minister also provided an update on the national COVID-19 vaccination rollout, stating that a total of 237,111 people, or 48.7 per cent of the targeted population, received their first COVID-19 vaccines. Additionally, 116,903 people, or 24 per cent of the population, received both their first and second doses

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