Remarks as prepared
Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch
Opening Ceremony of Lesser Antilles Medical Assistance Team (LAMAT) Medical Mission
Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation
February 22, 2023
Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, Advisor to the Minister of Health of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana,
Major General Evan Pettus, Commander, Air Forces Southern
Dr. Veronica Griffith, Deputy Director for Regional Health Services
Dr. Navindranauth Rambarran, Director General of Georgetown Public Health Corporation
Members of the media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning, everyone.
It is a privilege to join you today at the commencement of United States Southern Command Lesser Antilles Medical Assistance Team or the “LAMAT” mission here in Guyana. We are excited to welcome this USSOUTHCOM team conducts routine medical engagements throughout South America and the Caribbean to build partnerships, provide relief to overwhelmed medical facilities and improve our collective ability to meet complex global challenges. This mission is representative of the United States’ commitment to the people of Guyana as the country continues its astounding trajectory toward increased prosperity and development.
LAMAT follows on the heels of a recent medical assistance mission to the Caribbean by the US Navy ship Comfort hospital ship from October to December of last year. The intent of this mission is to assist medical professionals in Guyana, Suriname and St. Lucia provide medical and dental treatment to patients selected by the Ministry of Health. The team, composed of United States Army and Air Force medical professionals, are equipped to conduct surgeries and provide dental treatments. We expect that the team will perform 80 surgeries and 200 dental services.
Over the last several years, the United States has partnered with the Government of Guyana in a number of health areas from fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief to COVID through donating equipment, supplies and more than 350,000 COVID 19 vaccine doses. In the same spirit, LAMAT honors our promise to be a trusted partner in Guyana by increasing collaboration so that we can quickly work together when support is needed. The U.S. and Guyana have much in common, and the strong relationship between our countries is based on mutual respect and shared values.
Our commitment to mutually beneficial cooperation with Guyana and its people reflects our enduring promise of friendship, partnership, and solidarity with the Americas as we work together for a secure, free, and prosperous hemisphere.
As Guyana continues to develop at a remarkable rate (reporting one of the fastest growing economies in the world for 2022), the United States remains committed to assisting it develop the health and human services needed to improve quality of life. In this spirit of cooperation, I look forward to these next two weeks of productive engagement.