By Michel Outridge
NIGHT though it is a health job, it provides professional medical care to the community and those further afield, who would seek the services provided by the friendly and polite staff at Zeelugt’s health office, East Bank Essequibo.
Midwife Jenny Deochan was on hand to give a tour of the facility and took the time off to allow a friendly interview.
She related that Zeelugt’s health job serves many people more than others because of her location; and the area is very populated and many people from other villages would visit for medical attention.
Deochan added that they provide the services that patients seek despite some challenges and with limited staff.
He said they operate as a health facility Monday to Friday between 08:00 hrs and 16:30 hrs and have different services each day, but immunization, home visiting, family planning and dressings are done every working day.
Deochan explained that newborns are accepted on Mondays, BCG vaccines are given and postnatal clinics are held. On Tuesdays they have family planning, on Wednesdays there is an antenatal clinic and children’s clinic and on Thursdays there are baby and children’s clinics and on Friday there is a chronic disease clinic.
The midwife stated that they do not have a doctor on staff, but medex would visit on Wednesdays and Fridays.
They only have a staff complement of midwife, nursing assistant, community health worker, part time cleaner and chaperone.
Deochan, who hails from Uitvlugt, West Coast Demerara, reported that she spent 24 years in the nursing profession but had been a community health worker for the first 12 years.
Zeelugt’s health job, a small, incomplete building that opened in 2015, is at its busiest on a Friday when there’s a chronic disease clinic and more than 50 patients would pass through it.
Deochan recently explained that the front yard is low and used to be flooded when it rains, but was recently cemented higher, however, a ramp for wheelchair patients has not yet been built .
The tiles are incomplete and the building is without air conditioning, especially the room where drugs are stored and serve as the pharmacy.
The yard was recently completed and cleaned.
“We are concerned with the resources at hand and aim to provide a professional and timely service to patients,” said the health professional.
Meanwhile, Vice Chairman of the Tuschen / Uitvlugt Neighborhood Democratic Council (NDC), Pooramdai Sukhau named Paravin, told Pepperpot Magazine that she is a local of Zeelugt Village and has lived all her life in that community, which has see its fair share of the development over the years.
He said there is ongoing community-based work in North, South and the New Plan area which is large in size and population.
The councilor added that several previously poorly maintained inner streets are being upgraded and work at both nursery schools will begin soon.
He said a boulevard bridge connecting Zeelugt with Tuschen has recently been completed and Improving Community Infrastructure
Program workers (CIIP) weed parapets and clean drains, canals and ditches.
Sukhau noted that most of the village people work in the Uitvlugt Sugar Estate and that it is a place for many small businesses.
“Most of these women are housewives, but they go out to earn part-time, cleaning houses and collecting shrimp and the young people in this village are out of work because of the pandemic, ”he said.
He explained that many people lost their jobs to COVID-19 and were doing nothing, while others were trying to use their skills to make their living properly in the community.
Sukhau added that the Neighborhood Policing Group would carry out night patrols in the village and are working with the police to ensure residents are safe.
He revealed that a plot of land had been allocated for the construction of a community police station, but that has not yet happened.
The 42-year-old woman described the place as jungle and boggy as a child and used to walk barefoot to school some distance away.
“Life was simple but difficult back then, and I used to live in shackles with four siblings and my parents so I know everything about humility; but today things are different and upgraded, ”he said.