Guyana heightens measles surveillance near Venezuela border; treating Venezuelans for malaria

Last Updated on Thursday, 7 September 2017, 11:34 by Denis Chabrol

Guyana has decided to intensify measles surveillance near the border with Venezuela, even as nationals of that neighbouring country continue to seek medical treatment here for malaria, government announced Thursday.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon said the Pan American Health Organisation has advised of increased cases of measles in Bolivar State, Venezuela.

As a result, he said Guyana has decided to step up measles surveillance and “adopt a high level of vaccination.”

In relation to malaria, Harmon said 368 Venezulans out of about 1,000 persons have sought treatment at health facilities in the Barima-Waini (Region One) area. He said health outposts have been mandated to continue offering treatment to Venezuelans and Guyanese residing in Venezuela.

“We feel that this is part of our humanitarian effort,” said Harmon. He said Venezuelans are given special permission to go to Guyana for a limited period to seek medical attention.

Venezuelan are in the midst of a deepening political and economic crisis that has resulted in severe shortages of food and medicine.

Quite recently, a group of armed Venezuelan soldiers crossed into Guyana, seeking food.

Local police encouraged them  to return and they did so without incident.