Baramita residents want follow-up medical attention
Guyana Chronicle
May 10, 2004

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RESIDENTS of the remote Carib village of Baramita in Region One (Barima/ Waini) are requesting follow-up medical attention following Saturday's check-ups and treatment there by a visiting medical team of doctors and other health personnel of the Ministry of Health.

The team was in Baramita as part of a medical outreach programme in the area.

The visiting team was accompanied by Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Harripersaud Nokta and included officials of the Social Impact Amelioration Programme (SIMAP) who inspected the site for the construction of a new teachers' quarters in the village.

Baramita, which is accessible only by aircraft, is one of Guyana's largest Amerindian villages. It was recently granted its land title by President Bharrat Jagdeo at the Office of the President.

The population of the village is approximately 1,700. Minister Nokta explained to those meeting with him that Government hopes that by September this year, the trail for the planned road from Matthew's Ridge to the village would be cleared all the way through, so that construction of the road could begin.

Toshao Johnny Simon pointed out that villagers are looking forward to the completion of the road and are assisting in clearing the trail. The road will allow villagers to access health and other services via Matthew's Ridge. The Toshao led Minister Nokta to the road site and observed that about two miles of the trail has already been cleared by residents.

Minister Nokta explained that travelling to Baramita often can be quite costly, and this is why Government is working on completing the road soon. He urged villagers to get into farming activities to assist in providing food for their families regularly and for income generation.

With regard to education, District Development Officer (DDO), Sampson Baird, contended that the education level in Baramita is quite low and a resident medical practitioner is needed there with the village being so highly populated.

He pointed out that villagers had agreed to assist themselves in some way with their plan to construct a village office, since they appreciated the help by Government but realized that Government could not do everything for them.

The DDO thanked Prime Minister Samuel Hinds for providing them with a chainsaw for logging purposes and President Bharrat Jagdeo for looking into the issues affecting them so soon after informing him of these at the Toshaos reception in Georgetown in February last. .

Referring to Agriculture, he also reiterated that Baramita needs an agriculture field assistant to teach villagers to farm productively.

At the end of the meeting, an endorsement was signed for the construction of a Head-teacher's and teachers' quarters by Village Officials and SIMAP, and Minister Nokta mentioned that considerations are being made to rehabilitate other Government buildings in the village.

The medical team is likely to make a second visit to the community soon, as the doctors could not have attended to all those who turned up for the meeting.(GINA)