UG set to introduce Masters in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Aimed at helping the local health sector to realise the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
which speaks to the reduction of infant mortality and maternal deaths, the University of Guyana through its Faculty of Health Sciences is set to launch a Masters of Medicine in Obstetrics and Gynaecology programme this month.
Dean of the Health Sciences Faculty, Dr. Emanuel Cummings, made this disclosure during an interview, yesterday.
According to him the programme will be introduced no later than the end of this month and will be indicative of the University collaborating with the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation and the Universities of Ohio and Pittsburgh.
The programme, he said, has been in the making for a long time, adding that “we have had discussions with universities in the United States but mainly with the Universities of Pittsburgh and Ohio….”
Support from the two universities, according to Dr. Cummings, will extend to the provision of technical support in the form of tutors and also in the area of curriculum development. The curriculum is expected to be taken to the academic board next Tuesday after which it will be advertised. “Once it gets the blessings of the University…and I believe that it will, this affiliate programme will commence,” Dr. Cummings noted.
He views the programme as one which “we in Guyana consider, especially in the Faculty of Health Sciences and at the Georgetown Public Hospital, as very dear to us because it really involves women’s health.”
Dr. Cummings has expressed optimism that at least five residents will be included in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Programme even as efforts are made to produce enough professionals trained in this field.
The intent, according to the Health Sciences Dean, is not only to ensure that there are sufficient professionals to cater to the Public Hospital but also the regional health facilities. “It is our wish that they all will be staffed with at least one Gynaecologist on a full time basis,” he stressed as he pointed to the role of the Faculty of Health Sciences to support health sector development…we are here to produce skills for development,” he passionately insisted.
He alluded to the issue of maternal deaths that have in the recent past impacted the local health sector and by extension its achievement of the MDG Four which deals specifically with the need to reduce infant mortality and the MDG Five which addresses the importance of improving maternal health.
“We are trying to address these issues through the introduction of a number of programmes,” Dr. Cummings noted, even as he made reference to the Masters of Paediatric Programme which was introduced last year.
A total of five residents, attached to the Public Hospital had commenced that programme but according to Dr. Cummings, three more have since been added.
By next year there will be four certified paediatricians in Guyana with the graduation of two of the doctors from the Masters in Paediatrics Programme.
At the moment there are only two certified paediatricians in Guyana — Doctors Rohan Jabour and Hardat Persaud —whose services are expected to be complemented with two graduating doctors next year, Dr. Singh said.
The two doctors set to graduate are doctors Clive Bowman and Seepersaud Chatterdeo, who are among the batch of eight doctors undertaking the programme.
The programme, which is being spearheaded by the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation’s Institute of Health Science Education in collaboration with the University of Guyana and the Humber River Regional Hospital in Toronto, was introduced during the last quarter of last year.
According to External Director of the Programme, Dr. Narendra Singh, the two are set for graduation due to their seniority in the field of paediatrics.
“They have been in the field for a number of years and they have been doing a phenomenal job because every month we have been testing them. We have been making sure that they are reading and I must say that I am proud of them,” said an elated Dr. Singh during a recent interview with this publication.