19th of December, 2020. Region 9, Guyana, South America.Last updated: December 19, 2020 at 18:00 pm
According to a staff who works there, the Malaria Department of Region 9 has been unfairly excluded from the two-weeks government bonus aimed at rewarding frontline workers who come in direct contact with COVID-19 patients.
A circular memorandum from the Ministry of Health states that:
Following government’s commitment to support COVID-19 frontline workers, and consequent to the announcement by His Excellency, Dr. Irfaan Ali, for health care professionals to be paid a two-weeks bonus, the Ministry of Health has defined this to be, “government employees within the health sector who have direct contact or exposure with possible COVID-19 patients or related contaminated materials, as well as persons who dealt with transport of the same.”
A staff of the Malaria Department of the Lethem Regional Hospital was shocked to learn that the Malaria Department was not included in the list of persons/categories/departments eligible for the bonus. This is according to the memorandum shown in screenshot below and which was also confirmed by a senior staff at the Lethem Regional Hospital.
The staff, who spoke on condition of anonymity, related that the Malaria Department is one of the highest risk departments given the fact that they have to test suspected cases of malaria which often turn out to be COVID-19 cases.
“Our department (Malaria) is not included in the list, but our department works directly with the COVID-19 Team. The Malaria Department plays a crucial role in the fight against COVID-19 since we have to test potential COVID-19 patients in order to rule out malaria. On many occasions, I personally went into isolated areas to do malaria tests. And now, I’m looking at this list, knowing that I risk myself on a daily basis, only to see that the Malaria Department was excluded from the list of beneficiaries of the two-weeks bonus.” – Staff of Malaria Department.
Team Guyana, South America calls on the relevant authorities to investigate and rectify this error as early as possible.
Update: At around 5:30 PM today, 19th of December, 2020, we received a feedback from the Hospital Administrator that the memorandum inadvertently omitted some departments. The relevant authorities are working to produce a revised copy which will include the Malaria Department and which will be redistributed on Monday, 21st of December, 2020.