Visiting doctors to perform 10 life-changing surgeries on children this week


A total of ten life-changing open heart surgeries will be performed this week by visiting medical professionals from the non-profit organization – the Gift of Life – at the Georgetown Public Hospital.

A Memorandum of Understanding was recently signed between the Georgetown Public Hospital, Guyana Programme for Advanced Cardiac and the Gift of Life foundation for a collaborative effort to treat pediatric cardiac patients in Guyana.

This MoU will see the recommencement of the pediatric cardiology programme at the hospital which currently has a backlog of over 100 patients with congenital heart defects.

These much-needed open-heart surgeries will be performed this week. The first surgery started on Monday and with the surgeries being done twice per day, the main doctors involved are scheduled to be done on Friday.

The team of visiting doctors join nurses, doctors attached to the Georgetown Public Hospital and officials at the launch of the pediatric cardiac programme on Monday (Photo: News Room/ March 20, 2023)

The hospital’s Chief Executive Officer, Robbie Rambarran said this programme, which was halted in 2018, will bring relief to patients over the next two years.

“I want to remind each one of us here that what we are embarking on is bigger than any of us and in the best interest of these kids who need a new lease of life and it’s in the best interest of this institution and building capacity and providing the best healthcare,” Rambarran said.

This programme is important because every year at least 150 children are born in Guyana with heart defects. Now children between eight months old and 16 years old will receive world-class treatment from the team.

One of the rooms for the surgery patients

Through the agreement, the hospital’s staff of nurses were given a six months training programme to learn pre and post-surgery care. In addition, Rambarran said that over $160 million was injected by the hospital into the programme to procure equipment.

According to the foundation’s CEO, Dr Rob Raylman, the foundation will provide all the technical assistance required for the surgeries to be a success.

“So this is building capacity for your doctors and nurses to treat intensively ill children in the near future,” Dr Raylman said.

Upon completing the surgeries, some doctors will return to the United States of America while some supporting staff will remain to monitor the patients.

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