Cayman nurses help Bahamas hurricane victims

Cayman nurses Riley Ondoy and Marian Slater help out a patient in the Bahamas.

A team of six Cayman nurses is on the ground in the Bahamas assisting in disaster relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

The registered nurses from the Health Services Authority and Health City Cayman Islands have been in the Bahamas since Friday, 20 Sept., providing relief support to healthcare workers who are assisting people needing medical attention.

The medical team comprises Maria Barnes-Campbell, Marlon Soriano, Riley Ondoy and Marian Slater of the HSA, and Joseph John and Mahesha Dundumadaiah of HCCI. For two weeks, the nurses are conducting clinics and assisting with any other necessary medical care in Marsh Harbour, Abaco Islands.

“We are happy to provide some respite time for our healthcare counterparts in the Bahamas to allow them to look after themselves and their families. As healthcare professionals, we are required to provide 24‑hour medical care regardless of our personal circumstances,” said HSA CEO Lizzette Yearwood in a press release. “We have sent experienced health professionals whose areas of specialty range from critical care and operating room to maternity and emergency care.”

She added that a second group will be sent to the Bahamas in early October to relieve the first team of nurses, who will be returning to Cayman.

Health City clinical director and chief cardiac surgeon Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil said he was pleased to send medical staff to assist and thanked Ministry of Health and HSA officials for coordinating the effort.

“It is heartwarming to see our islands’ Caymankind ethos in action from a medical perspective,” Chattuparambil said. “All of Cayman’s healthcare providers work together locally for the good of our patients every day, and we are extending this spirit of fraternity as we join together to assist our Bahamian neighbours in their time of need.”

Minister of Health Dwayne Seymour noted that after Cayman “witnessed first-hand the devastating aftermath of a category 5 storm as a result of Hurricane Ivan, our hearts go out to our Caribbean neighbours in the Bahamas”, adding, “The Cayman Islands will continue to do our best to provide the support needed to help the people of the Bahamas regain stability and to alleviate some of the challenges they are facing during this difficult and overwhelming time.”

Earlier this month, all three Grand Cayman hospitals, which also included CTMH Doctors Hospital, provided the Bahamas with more than 4,000 pounds of medical supplies.

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