Focus on miners, loggers as memorandum inked to eliminate malaria by 2030


In a bid to ensure early diagnosis and increase compliance among miners and loggers, the Ministry of Health on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to tackle the mosquito-borne disease malaria.

The agreement was inked between the Ministry of Labour and a host of mining organisations including the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association.

It will focus on the country’s most vulnerable groups in Regions 1, 7 and 9.

Through the inter-agency collaboration, there will be more action and awareness. Mining and logging camps will be provided with rapid kits as well as documents illustrating how medications should be used.

The efforts form part of the overall goal which is to have a decrease in the number of malaria cases by 2025 and elimination by 2030.

“We want to work with mining camps, logging camps through the various associations and we want to teach you how to make the diagnosis in malaria.

“We will be giving you rapid kits. We want to teach you when you find the people with malaria how to treat them…we have actually developed envelopes where we have ‘how to treat’ is illustrated outside of the envelopes so you can see which tablet to use in the morning, afternoon and for how long,” Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony said during his address at the signing ceremony.

A number of insecticide treated bed nets and hammock nets were handed over to be distributed to all mining and logging camps (Photo: News Room/April 24, 2024)

Through this approach, Dr Anthony said treatment for an individual with malaria is being made simple.

“We hope by doing this we will be able to make more diagnosis, make them quicker, we will be able to treat people, get people to be more compliant and once all these things happen we will be closer to eliminate malaria from the country,” Dr Anthony noted.

In terms of prevention, a number of insecticide treated bed nets and hammock nets were handed over to be distributed to all mining and logging camps.

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat said for too long malaria has plagued the mining and logging sectors.

While there has been a reduction in malaria cases especially in the logging sector, Bharrat said there are still existing challenges which including weather conditions and labour shortage.

“Our labour force is very critical to ensure that we keep the mining sector alive.

“The future for the mining sector is bright… If we already have a shortage with labour and then we have to deal with sick workers then that is even a bigger challenge,” he said.

Meanwhile, in her remarks, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S Embassy, Adrienne Galanek said the ground breaking initiative will put Guyana in the lead on innovative approaches to reach the most vulnerable with malaria service where it is most needed.

“We are at a critical point in this fight. Globally, the population at risk of Malaria has doubled since 2000. Drug resistant, insecticide resistance and basic mosquito strains are the key tools we have used to protect people and save lives.

“We must look to address these challenges but also beyond them to adapt, identify new opportunities and ramp up our efforts to end this disease that cut young lives short and devastate families and communities,” she said.

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