Guyana Help The Kids

Paediatric Oncology Program

In 2013 effort were made to improve Paediatric Oncology Services at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation through the Guyana Help the Kids Organisation. President to GHTK- Dr Narendra Singh met with Paediatric Oncologist Dr Lorna Fitzpatrick who is attached to the University of Buffalo and Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo to discuss ways to meet the needs of the department. Through this collaboration, Dr. Fitzpatrick agreed to conduct a site visit to the institution in February ,

2013 to assess the needs of the institution. At the end of this visit she met with the key stakeholders to provide feedback of her recommendations.

Dr. Fitzpatrick since that time has trained two Paediatricians to conduct bone marrows since there was only one doctor who would conduct same every two weeks since he was based out of Georgetown. This has significantly reduced the time for diagnosis to be made for patients. She also brought down her team of Pharmacist, Paediatric Nurse Practitioner and Paediatric Neuro Surgeon later that year to assist her in further developing services at GPHC.

As a result of all these initiatives the following was achieved:

  1. GPHC could finally send home children who were admitted to the ward! Prior an admission would be detrimental to any child who was diagnosed with cancer at GPHC. 
  2. Bone Marrows were done more efficiently and samples were coordinated through the Main lab at GPHC to have them shipped to Dr Fitzpatrick where she voluntarily reviewed and reported back to the Paediatricians.
  3. She assisted by providing treatment roadmaps and assisted paediatricians to make recommendation with Pharmacy to best serve and meet patient needs.

Furthermore, through her initiatives she has assisted in aiding the clinical rotation of Dr Sherelyn Stanton at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. Dr Stanton at that time was a senior resident who has since graduated from the Paediatric Residency Programme delivered through GHTK in collaboration with the University of Guyana and the Georgetown Public Hospital Institute of Health Science Education. Dr Stanton along with Dr Mala Shewram (another graduate of the programme) has been taking ownership of the Paediatric Oncology ward at GPHC. They are also active advocates for the programme.

GHTK has also raised awareness of the programme at GPHC highlighting the needs of patients coming from remote parts of the country. As a result the Jay Mohabir Foundation responded by committing to an annual donation to the charity aimed to reach out to these specific patients. To date the organisation has assisted several families with cost for accommodation, travel, payments for MRIs and CT scans and for medications whenever there is a shortage.

Dr Fitzpatrick has remained committed to working with the doctors at GPHC and been readily available for any consult on a case seen by the Paediatricians. She is regarded as a hero at GPHC.