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I wish to thank Dr. Leslie Ramsammy for his response, “Unfortunate that religion has crept into the vaccine dialogue.” (SN 9 April, 2021) to my letter entitled, “Use of Masjids …” (SN, April 7, 2021). I noted his tone of civility and respect and I am only too happy to reciprocate. I need to say two things at this moment.
First. On March 17 last, our outreach personnel, whose contact information I am happy to share on request, responding to an advertisement in INews Guyana, of the same date, inviting persons and organisations to collaborate with the MOH in its vaccination efforts, contacted the Ministry of Health on 226-1560 proposing the use our facilities. After all, as Dr. Ramsammy himself knows, SVN has hosted the largest blood drives any where in the Caribbean since 2007, with the highest total of units at 551 for a single drive.
Our personnel was told that the Ministry was concentrating on Health Centres only and that he should remain in contact for further information. He made several other calls, two of them after March 25, by which time it was clear that the vaccination had started at the Leonora Masjid. He was promised the usual, “We will get back to you.” He never again heard from the Ministry. The rest we know is history.
Second. I will kindly request Dr. Ramsammy to publish the schedule showing the vaccination centres organised by religious entities. We can have the entire list up till now, but I am particularly interested with the status prior to April 7, the date of my letter. I have been notified of a flurry of activities of other religious organisations after this date.