$150M for upgrades of health centres across Reg. 9


As part of efforts to improve the healthcare services offered to the residents of Region Nine (Upper Takutu- Upper Essequibo), President Dr. Irfaan Ali has announced that more than $150 million will be spent to upgrade health centres across the region.

The President said this while engaging residents of Yupukari and surrounding areas, in the North Rupununi area of Region Nine on Saturday last.

“Our primary objective is to ensure the lives of all the people of our country are improved. And whatever benefits on the coastland must be available for you, and we will ensure you too benefit,” President Ali said.

A total of $1 billion has been allocated for the upgrading of health centres across all regions in the 2022 National Budget.

These health centres, found in villages across the large region, allow for residents to gain much-needed health services. Region Nine also has the Lethem regional hospital which provides more specialised services.

A resident of Region Nine engaging President Dr. Irfaan Ali (second from left) and a team of government ministers during a recent outreach (Photo: Office of the President/ April 16, 2022)

This regional hospital was last year upgraded and retrofitted to a SMART healthcare facility; a SMART facility refers to a health facility that provides standard and efficient health care while at the same time being climate-resilient.

To complement the upgrades to the health centres, President Ali also noted that 61 community health workers will be trained.

Aside from the focus on improving health services, the President outlined other areas through which the government hopes to reduce the coastal and hinterland disparities.

“We are rebuilding infrastructure in this entire region.

“This year, we will spend $3.7 billion on hinterland roads and bridges,” the President said also.

These infrastructural works are expected to open up new lands for housing and farming needs. Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal, at that meeting, also told the residents that the government intends on restarting the hinterland housing programme.

Importantly, too, the President announced that the government is also reviewing the stipend provided to local leaders- that is, the toshaos and village councillors. And he promised that by the next National Toshaos’ Conference, there will be an “enhancement of resources” for these leaders.

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