Volda Lawrence busy in Washington, DC – by Francis Quamina Farrier

Volda Lawrence busy in Washington, DC  –  by Francis Quamina Farrier 

Volda Lawrence

Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence, has just wrapped up a busy visit to Washington, DC. During a three day meeting at the Pan American Health Organization, she was elected Vice Chair of the Sub-Committee of Budget and Planning; the first Guyana Minister of Health to be so appointed.

The minister was in Washington, DC, attending the PAHO Subcommittee on Programme, Budget, and Administration, which is an auxiliary body of the Executive Committee with responsibility for aspects of Programme Administration. This 11th Session was held at the PAHO Headquarters from March 22 to 24.

Among the issues discussed at the three day meeting, were the Draft Proposed PAHO Programme and Budget for the period 2018 and 2019. The appointment of one member to the Audit Committee of PAHO, and Programming of the Revenue Surplus, among others. The principal functioning of the Subcommittees is to review and, as appropriate, make recommendations to the Executive Committee in the areas identified.

On Friday evening, Minister Volda Lawrence took the opportunity to meet with professionals residing and working in the Washington, DC and Maryland area. The meeting was held at the Guyana Embassy in Washington, DC. In addressing the gathering, the recently appointed Minister of Public Health, informed them of the challenges she faces with her new portfolio, and said that she intends to ensure that all faults will be addressed, even though it will take some time to accomplish. She expressed her concern for the level of teaching which the nurses receive and lamented the poor performance at the recent nurses examination, at whih almost 100% of the nurses failed. Something which she plans to address and get a much better training programme.

In taking questions from the floor, the minister promised that there will be Law and Order at the Ministry of Public Health during her tenure. She promised to have better infrastructure, assistance for the Disabled, and proper accountability in the Procurement process, especially the procurement of drugs. “People are suffering, they are not getting drugs”, the minister lamented. Minister Lawrence also spoke of her plans to address the heavy work load of the Regional Health Officers. She also told the gathering that the Ministry of Public Health has recently employed a Lawyer, who will assist with the Legal aspects of the running of the Ministry.

On an inspiring note, Minister Volda Lawrence heaped praise on Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings, for her work. She also made reference to “the bright young people at the Ministry.” She also thanked the Guyanese Diaspora for all the assistance they have been giving to the Ministry of Public Health, and encouraged them to drop by and have a conversation with the Local operatives, whenever they visit Guyana. Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence, was accompanied on this trip, with Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Karen Gordon-Boyle.

Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence addressing USA-Based Guyanese at the Guyana Embassy in Washington, DC., Friday March 24, 2017. (Photo by Francis Quamina Farrier)

Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence(seated wearing blue) at the PAHO Headquarters. Standing directly behind her, is Dr. Karen Gordon-Boyle

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  • Kenneth Soobrian  On 03/31/2017 at 1:47 pm

    The APNU government promised to do better than the last corrupt government so why after two years in office there is a shortage of drugs and poor people are suffering as they cannot get the appropriate medication?

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