Malaria detected among Venezuelan migrants in Region One

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Malaria, the disease that plagues the hinterland regions, has been detected among the Venezuelan migrants who have settled in Anabisi, Port Kaituma, in the North West District, Region One (Barima-Waini).

“We were able to detect among the group several cases of malaria and again, they were given treatment based on the conditions they were in,” Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony said on Monday.

The News Room was later reliably informed that while there was only one confirmed case of malaria at Anabisi, the regional authorities were monitoring the situation.

The Health Minister was part of the team that went into the community to provide medical care and assess their needs.

According to a report from the Office of the Prime Minister, dozens of Amerindians- including children- may have entered Guyanese territory from a neighbouring village in Venezuela in poor health and without food.

They have settled in Anabisi, which is located some 10 minutes away from Port Kaituma.

At the weekend, the team found some 198 migrants living at Anabisi; these people were drawn from about 25 families.

Several illnesses were detected, including: impetigo (a bacterial infection on the skin), upper respiratory infection, conjunctivitis (commonly called ‘red eye’) and mild diarrheal diseases.

Dr. Anthony said much of this is caused by the limited access to clean water. There were also instances of poor nutrition, with many of the children apparently malnourished.

While the team was able to provide immediate medical care and food supplies, Dr. Anthony said that the local authorities will be seeking to provide hammock nets for the migrants.

“This would certainly help because if they sleep under these nets, it will protect them from mosquitoes,” Dr. Anthony explained.

In Guyana, a majority of the malaria cases are detected in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine and malaria is considered a serious threat since it may cause severe illness and if untreated, even death.

To combat this, the Ministry of Health has developed several plans to protect people from malaria. One such plan is the distribution of some 95,000 long-lasting insecticide-treated nets in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine.

Hammocks with nets will also be distributed specifically to mining camps where individuals are particularly vulnerable to malaria.

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