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University of Guyana deploys specialist teams to support ministry, students and families of those on Mahdia fire

Last Updated on Monday, 22 May 2023, 15:06 by Denis Chabrol

The University of Guyana says it shares the grief and extends deep and sincere condolences on the loss of lives, property and trauma experienced in the Mahdia fire in the wee hours of Monday morning.

Institutionally, the University has immediately activated several mechanisms internally and externally aimed at  ascertaining any students and staff who may be directly affected. Several students have been identified already.

The University of Guyana will host a Vigil  of Compassion  from 6pm to 8pm tomorrow (Tuesday) at the George Walcott Lecture Theatre (GWLT) at the Turkeyen Campus. Those wishing to join online may do so at

UG’s Social Work Unit  in Faculty of Social Sciences is supporting the Ministry of Education’s Welfare Unit  and has reached out to other stakeholders they are collaborating with for practicum to determine how we may support them.  Members of the University Social Work Unit are set to accompany a Ministry of Education Welfare team. UG’s Social Work graduates in the Mental Health Unit  of the Ministry of Health are on standby to travel .

The Vice Chancellor as Chair of UG’s Mental Health Task Force convened a meeting at 12 noon Monday with UG’s COBRES,  Institute of Resiliency, Inclusion Unit and  Social Work Departments  on the development of an emergency mental plan for quick deployment which includes support to first responders.

Additionally,  Dean of UG’s Centre for Behavioral Sciences and Research (CoBRES) Dr Katija Khan, in her capacity of President of the Caribbean Alliance of National Psychological Associations, also pledged  support  and that of their  Disaster Mental Health Committee in any way needed at this time.

UG’s College of Medicine is also mobilizing to lend medical additional support at location so that there is no interrupted medical services including mental health nursing specialists is required as well as our Amerindian Studies Unit in the Faculty of Education and Humanities.

The University is also requesting the exercise of sensitivity and compassion in not sharing and circulation of photos, videos and images of this terrible event.

The University is requesting that any civil society, religious or other entities wishing to partner or in need of support to kindly reach out using email [email protected] or WhatsApp : +592-642-7273.

The University’s response continues to develop.

Once again the University extends its support and sympathy in this hour of unthinkable loss in communities which lost children and in our country.

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May 2023