We Must Never Forget!
What is Guyana Medical Relief? – Guyana Medical Relief (GMR) is a California public benefit non-profit 501 c(3) organization that was formed in 1984 by a group of Guyanese based in Los Angeles, California. The focus is on addressing the health-related needs of the people in Guyana. GMR supports eight hospitals in Guyana, and satellite clinics in more remote regions. GMR is one of the oldest US-based non-profit organizations supporting Guyana, and is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors and Operating Committee.
• In partnership with Direct Relief, annual donation of medical supplies to hospitals, with a cumulative value of over US$90MM.
• The annual distribution of tens of thousands of free pairs of shoes to school-age children, donated by TOMS Shoes.
• In partnership with other non-profit groups, funding support for various annual medical and dental missions from USA and Canada to Guyana.
• Construction of various facilities at the hospitals, including X-ray facility, VIA Clinics, Dental Clinic, and an Accident and Emergency Unit.
• Donation of needed medical and other equipment to hospitals, including Ultrasound machines, Defibrillators, computers, washer and dryer, and water and sewer pumps.
Why the need for GMR? – Guyana, on the north coast of South America, is a small country, still developing with resources that need to be stretched among many competing needs. As a result, there is a shortage of available dollars to provide for the medical needs of the entire population. GMR was formed by a small group of concerned Guyanese in Los Angeles, California originally to raise funds to sponsor shipments of urgently needed medical supplies and equipment to two hospitals in Guyana. The Organization was too small to effectively carry out its primary mission. It therefore partnered with a larger Non-Profit, Direct Relief of Santa Barbara. (Link to DR’s website here). Direct Relief (DR) obtains medical supplies and equipment and ships them all over the world. As a partner with GMR, Direct Relief ships the supplies requested by the hospitals in Guyana.
How do we operate? – Administration: GMR is operated by a Board of Directors and an Operating Committee who are all volunteers. There are no paid staff members. As a result, more than 90% of the funds raised by the Organization is used to ship items to Guyana. Meetings are held by the Board and the Operating Committee to establish annual programs and organize various activities.
Communications: We deal directly with the Ministry of Health and the hospitals. GMR’s representative in Guyana assists in the receipt and distribution of all shipments. Each hospital provides a list of its needs. The lists are sent to Direct Relief, so that only needed items are packaged and shipped. Committee Members in Los Angeles make contact with the Hospitals to verify the delivery of each shipment and DRI also receives from each hospital a confirmation of delivery.
1. We continue to pay for shipments to various hospitals in Guyana. The past two years have witnessed an increase in shipments due mainly to the shortages of medications in Guyana as well as GMR being beneficiary to a grant, thanks to Direct Relief and the Izumi Foundation that allowed us to penetrate the interior locations in Guyana;
2. GMR continues to access to many additional interior locations and, to this end, has sent a mobile ultrasound to the Region 1 Community of Baramita. This ultrasound is being used throughout Region 1;
3. GMR has donated a brand new modern ultrasound machine to the Mahaicony Hospital. This is to assist patients who otheriwse would have to wait hours at the main Georgetown Hospital;
4. Since last year we have continued to ship thousands of pairs of TOMS shoes to Guyana’s children. By combining the shoe giving, especially in the interior locations, with our medical outreaches, we have clearly increased the effectiveness of our giving;
5. GMR has partnered with Canada-Guyana Outreach Mission (CanGo) to bring medical relief to thousands of Amerindians in the Regions 1 and 2 areas of Guyana. Last year GMR donated medical supplies and provided a grant to CanGo towards this venture. The success of this program has boosted our giving ability and has expanded our giving to other areas as well;
6. Along this line, GMR has partnered with the Guyana Cancer Foundation to provide pap smears to women in the rural areas. For 2017 GMR wll sponsor approximately 200 pap smears to women in Linden, Pomeroon, Mahaicony, Berbice and Bartica;
7. We assisted CanGo with providing maintenance to an interior building in the Pomeroon to house the over 2 dozen Canadian and American medical personnel who provided medical relief to the prople in this area. This cost saving move will enhance the CanGo team’s mission by providing a permanent home for these outreach teams as they visit Guyana annually to provide much needed services;
8. GMR has supplied medication and monetary grant to Dr. Cort’s mission in the Corentyne area. This annual mission include doctors and nurses, maninly of Guyanese extract who visit Guyana to provide medical services to the people of this area. Of about 6 cases of prostate and urological cancers have been found during the 2016 outreach;
9. In addition to our hospital shipments, our projects for the last couple of years include completely refurbishing the Accident and Emergency Unit at the Port Mourant Hospital to allow the staff to provide modern services to the peoples of this community;
10. GMR continues to listen to the needs of Guyanese and to evolve accordingly. Our mission has continued to focus on the poor, with emphasis on women and children.
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