Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
…for assisting in MOH’s vaccination drive
Approximately 400 members of the Guyana People’s Militia who were deployed countrywide to provide assistance in the Ministry of Health’s ongoing COVID-19 vaccination efforts have not been paid since March 2021.
In an effort to ensure their concerns are heard, members of the Militia reached out to the Village Voice News while remaining under anonymity for fear of consequence.
Based on the agreement, the ranks are to be paid a monthly salary in addition to the stipend they receive from being part of the reservoir of trained recruits to augment the Force. Some of the ranks were trained to administer vaccines and others were trained to complete documentation and other tasks.
The ranks report to work daily from 8 AM to whenever the vaccination site is closed. They are provided with lunch and transportation to the vaccination sites from their various bases. However, the ranks said that their additional provision of service requires much of their time and gives them little time for rest, another reason they are requesting swift payment of their salaries.
“You work whole week and then from that you still have to go back to the drill hall to do drills and other military stuff,” one of the ranks said. It is alleged that ranks were told that the President is yet to sign off on the necessary documents for their payment.
At a press conference on September 10, Opposition Leader (ag), Roysdale Forde, also highlighted the issue. He said that the ranks have been providing frontline services and deserved to be paid.
“[President] Irfaan Ali has the time to go and occupy and spend Government monies to run about the country to go to Region Two to campaign and now, people are here without salaries – 400 or more of them – but they have to go out every day to provide vaccine services to the people of this country. This also captures the abandonment of good governance in relation to the people of this country,” he said.
The first COVID-19 vaccine was administered in Guyana on February 11, 2021, at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) to Pharmacist, Brinnet Bernarai who works at the hospital.
Since then, over 337,000 have had their first jab and over 175,000 were fully vaccinated utilizing sites across Guyana.