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Guyanese medics conduct successful mission

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Brooklyn-based Dr. Janice Emanuel-Bunn told Caribbean Life that the APC Medical Mission Team, which she headed, provided “quality care to about 1,000 persons who desperately needed medical care” during the 10-day visit.

“We were also able to train patients on strategies to manage their disease by simple lifestyle practices,” she said.

Dr. Emanuel-Bunn said the second annual mission was unique “in that members came from different parts of the United States.”

She said “this dedicated and enthusiastic medical team” was hosted by Davis Memorial Hospital in Georgetown, the Guyanese capital, and The Guyana Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists.

“This partnership is very important for follow up care after the Medical Mission Team left Guyana,” Dr. Emanuel-Bunn said.

She said clinics and workshops were conducted, among other places, at Stewartville and Den-Amstel, West Bank, Demerara; Rosignol and Belladrum, West Coast, Berbice; and Eversham on the Corentyne coast.

Dr. Emanuel-Bunn said individuals were treated for various ailments, chief being chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, respiratory problems, and skin and foot conditions.

“We were quite concerned by the number of persons with very high blood pressure walking around, doing their daily chores,” she said.

“We seized the opportunity to educate patients on disease management by ensuring that medications are taken as prescribed,” she added.

“We taught them how to manage their disease by eating a balanced diet, focused on whole grains, fruits and vegetables; daily exercise; reduced saturated fat; and limit sugar intake,” she continued.

During the last clinic at Belladrum, Dr. Emanuel-Bunn said the team of medical professionals was very shocked that “individuals were walking around with cholesterol over 300 and blood pressure 250/140.

“This was very scary,” she said, adding that these patients were educated on disease management, mental health and HIV/AIDS, and were “encouraged to take better care of their health by putting into practice the information shared with them.”

Dr. Emanuel-Bunn said four patients at Belladrum received surgery by Dr. Beverly Belle, as well as three other patients from the Davis Memorial Hospital.

Hermia Guilliams-Reid, a retired registered nurse from Florida, who undertook the mission for the first time, told Caribbean Life that her experience was “one of amazement – not the work that was done, not the medication that was given, but the circumstances under which the team so smoothly navigated their skills and knowledge through the day.”

Licensed Practical Nurse Donna DeCruz, who works at Atlantis Rehabilitation and Residential Health Care Facility, downtown Brooklyn, said the medical mission was “a tremendous success.

“I was so delighted to be a part of it,” she said. “The quality of care we gave was greatly needed, and the OBGYN services were extraordin­ary.”

Wendy Wongk, a registered nurse from, Danville, Georgia, and owner and CEO of Care House, a facility for seniors, said “being Guyanese and given the opportunity to go back home to serve was a most enjoyable and memorable experience.

“In my professional capacity as a nurse, I was able to provide high quality care, while impacting the lives of others in a personal way, through prayer and meeting special needs,” she said.

“The APC Medical Team was in one accord,” she added, stating that, during the 10 days, members were able to “build wonderful relationships.

“We were united as we performed our tasks,” Wongk said.

Dr. Beverly Belle, of Midtown OBGYN, North Carolina, said the medical mission was “good work.”

“It is really God’s work. This is so needed in Guyana, and it was a real privilege to give back to my homeland,” she said.

“I plan to expand on the work I began,” she added. “I am committed to bringing a high standard of care to my people. I plan to enlist my entire OR (Operating Room) team for the next mission. I feel that I did not do enough because the time was short. I am compelled to do more.”

Dr. Emanuel-Bunn thanked Ms. Beverly Chan, CEO and staff of the Davis Memorial Hospital, as well as Pastor Avert James, president, Guyana Conference of Seventh Day Adventists, for “valuable assistance in making this mission such a tremendous success”.

Updated 5:36 pm, September 13, 2012:
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