Cayman’s medical community banded together on Thursday to prepare a shipment of supplies for the storm-ravaged people of the Bahamas. Representatives of the Health Services Authority, CTMH Doctors Hospital and Health City Cayman Islands all contributed to the effort to send supplies.

The shipment is not expected to leave Cayman until Saturday, but the supplies were gathered and made ready for the move on Thursday morning. The government of the Bahamas has been in touch with Cayman’s medical community to tell them what supplies are needed in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.

“The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority is working collaboratively with CTMH Doctors Hospital and Health City Cayman Islands to assist the Bahamians with sending over much needed medical supplies during the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian,” said Lizzette Yearwood, chief executive officer of the Health Services Authority. “The devastation they are facing is one that hits close to home, as we look back at our experiences with Hurricane Ivan. As medical professionals, we recognise the need of these supplies as it will help care for those most vulnerable at this time. We are keeping them in our prayers as they work to recover and rebuild.”

Yaron Rado, chief radiologist at CTMH Doctors Hospital, was part of the supply-gathering exercise on Thursday. He said that the medical community was thrilled to be able to band together.

“We have been through Hurricane Ivan. These are our brothers and sisters,” he said. “We know how it is if you get devastated, and I think it’s our duty and our honour to be a part of this. This is all under the government and the Ministry of Health. [Chief medical officer] John Lee is the one that pulled everybody together. The thing is that we are in competition with one another, but we have never been in competition when it comes to caring for the patients and in this case caring for our direct neighbours.”

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Rado said that one of the hold-ups in sending relief supplies is in having the receiving government to not only dictate what supplies are sent but also to be able to handle the logistics on its end.

Cayman Airways workers load medical supplies destined to support the relief mission in the Bahamas on Thursday morning. – Photo: Submitted

Cayman’s medical community is preparing to send medicine and gauze and bandages to the Bahamas, and each of the three hospitals sent a truckload of supplies to the Cayman Airways cargo centre.

Binoy Chattuparambil, clinical director and chief cardiac surgeon of Health City, said that his staff were deeply saddened by the devastation wrought by Dorian, and eager to lend a helping hand.

“We are committed to providing access to medical care throughout the Caribbean, and wish to do all that we can to assist the people of the Bahamas,” he said. “Our role in the relief effort will focus on providing urgent medical care, and we are sending medical personnel, medicines and medical supplies as part of the overall relief mission from the Cayman Islands.

“We work closely with the Bahamas physician community and welcome the opportunity to be a part of this humanitarian effort. We are very proud of our team members who will be doing their part to assist the people of Bahamas.”

Shomari Scott, director of business development for Health City, said that many members of the Cayman community remember Ivan quite intimately and want to be of service to their neighbours.

“We want to send our support to our Caribbean family, our Bahamian brothers and sisters who have been so severely impacted by Hurricane Dorian,” he said. “Many in our local community this week marked the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Ivan’s devastation of Grand Cayman, and we can deeply empathize with the people of the Bahamas in the storm’s aftermath.

“Our prayers are with them as they mourn their losses and begin the mammoth task of recovery.”

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