Minister insists better can be done in terms of health care for women
“For this year, for the first quarter it indicates that we are no better than the last corresponding quarter last year. So my mathematics says that if from the previous year it dropped from 25 to 14 (maternal deaths), that is 50 per cent, it means that for this quarter I should have not been having seven or nine (maternal deaths), I should be having three or four.”
Minister of Health Dr. Bheri Ramsaran made this assertion yesterday at the launching of the Master’s Degree in Obstetrics & Gynaecology Programme. He stated that while the health sector (hospitals) presently lacks resources, better can be done in terms of health care for women and children, especially for pregnant women.
According to Dr. Ramsaran, nine maternal deaths have been recorded in the country for the year, to date, and seven of these deaths were “direct”. He explained that for the last recorded maternal death, “everything that was done should not have been done. In fact, everything that should have been done was not done”.
It was noted that in 2010 when 25 maternal deaths were recorded, it caused concerns to intensify, thus forcing the Ministry of Health to take certain measures, none of which required additional budgetary allocations.
“There are certain reporting structures or reporting formats we have… those were being breached, certain protocols being breached… so we have a way to go, and that is why this Master’s Degree in Obstetrics & Gynaecology Programme is necessary and is so vital,” Dr. Ramsarran emphasised.
With doctors in Guyana being able to participate in this residency programme, they would be able to gain the necessary exposure in a local environment in which they will be practicing/serving in the areas of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.
Dr. Madan Rambarran, Director of the Institute of Health Science Education (IHSE), explained that such an initiative attracts individuals who share the vision of improving the health of women and reducing infant and maternal mortality.
In the past, Guyana has failed to attract and retain specialists since they migrate to other countries for various reasons.
According to Rambarran, almost 80 per cent of skilled Guyanese professionals migrate, however, with this newly introduced local residency training programme, he is optimistic that the migration rate will be heavily reduced.
It must be noted that this initiative came into fruition through partnerships with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), groups from the United States of America, Canada and other countries with the Government of Guyana, through the Ministry of Health.
Kaieteur News understands that the curriculum was developed and presented to the Ministry of Health and University of Guyana (UG) and accepted by both entities.
The original idea was to select five of the most dedicated and motivated doctors who displayed high levels of interest and passion for women’s health. However, after reviewing the potential candidates, six persons were selected for the first batch of this training programme.
The programme is expected to last four years per batch. (Kristen Macklingam)