Cayman deploys second medical team to Bahamas

Ministry of Health officials, with HSA and CTMH Doctors Hospital staff members, say farewell to the second medical team at the Owen Roberts International Airport. – Photo: Submitted

A six-member medical team has left for the Bahamas to continue Cayman’s hurricane-relief efforts.

It is the second medical unit to be dispatched to assist the hurricane-ravaged islands after the passage of Hurricane Dorian last month.

According to a Health Services Authority statement on Tuesday, Cayman’s first medical team returned last Friday at the end of a two-week deployment in the Bahamas. The second medical team departed on the same day to begin their stint.

The departing team comprised Dr. Gilbertha Alexander, Dr. Obinna Eleweanya, Dr. Eryka Simmons, Dr. Peter Soltau and nurse Muhammad Abdullahi from the Health Services Authority, and nurse Shanna Grant from CTMH Doctors Hospital.

The new group will continue the work of the returning team “offering clinics and medical care in Marsh Harbour, Abaco Islands, providing respite time to healthcare staff in the Bahamas to allow them to care for themselves and their families,” the HSA statement said.

HSA critical care nurse Riley Ondoy, who was on the first medical relief team, said the experience was wonderful since “we received as much as we gave“.

He added, “The people were friendly and very accommodating from the first day and we tried to return their kindness by providing the wholehearted service that they deserve during this tumultuous time.”

It is the second medical team to be dispatched to assist the hurricane-ravaged islands after the passage of Hurricane Dorian last month.

Health Minister Dwayne Seymour commended the medical teams for their efforts.

“I am extremely encouraged to know that despite the size of our islands compared to those around us, we positively impacted the lives of the people in the Bahamas including the healthcare staff, patients and other volunteers,” he said.

CTMH Doctors Hospital head nurse Jennifer Williams said the private hospital was humbled to join the relief efforts. “This is certainly a time of need for our fellow Caribbean neighbours and we are happy to help in any way we can,” she said.

HSA CEO Lizzette Yearwood said she was very proud of the initiative the returning team showed while they were on the ground in the aftermath of the disaster.

“During their time in the Bahamas our staff worked diligently and compassionately with their patients and united efforts with various international organisations that were also there to assist, such as the US Coast Guard and Heart to Heart International,” Yearwood said.