The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation yesterday became the formal custodian for the Guyana Safe Injection Project (GSIP) even as plans for the over four-year venture phases out. GSIP which was kicked into motion in 2004 has been funded by the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Managed by Initiatives Inc., the project introduction was first realised after permission was granted by the Ministry of Health, through Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, for a pilot study of injection safety practices at 15 local sites in four regions.
According to Ms Audrey Anderson, Chief of Party of the GSIP, coming out of that pilot intervention was a better understanding of local facilities as it relates to the management of waste and also safer injection practices.
Following that, PEPFAR funded the project from 2005 – 2009. However, an extension of six months was allowed, which will see the project officially coming to an end on March 31, 2010.
During the course of the project, hospitals in all 10 administrative regions were exposed to injection safety practices.
But according to Ms. Anderson, the GPHC was the largest challenge, as over 800 workers were trained and monitored to ensure that the practices were adhered to.
About 10 key staffers were identified by management to be taught as trainers, she added.
And given the fact that the project has positively impacted the operations of local health facilities, a decision was taken to ensure its sustenance under the auspices of the public hospital. “We have been fortunate to have a very good relationship with the facilities management unit and the occupational health and safety department, whereby we are assured that as we leave the active work at the GPHC, our health care workers will be safe.”
The objective of the project, Anderson said, is to reduce the incidence of injuries among health workers.
Assistant Director of Nursing Services at the public hospital, Mr Owen John, recounted that GSIP had come on board offering improved quality and subsequent institutional strengthening.
The initiative, he said, helped to identify and solve problems through team work and partnership. He disclosed that GSIP had even served as a means of deriving new approaches to address nursing problems in particular.
“GSIP worked with us to develop models demonstrating a most effective form of knowledge sharing in health care delivery.”
Moreover, the project played a major role in helping to refine staffers’ ethical, interpersonal and communication skills, creating an enabling, positive, safer practice environment. GSIP also worked with the nursing administration to develop a supervisors’ checklist which has proven to be invaluable, John related.
Additionally, GSIP has put in place a framework for sustainability of the work started some four years ago.
According to Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy health workers must realise that each person within the employ of the health sector has a vital role to play. Without a team effort, he noted, the efforts to provide quality health care will undoubtedly fail.
He related that a paradigm shift has occurred in Guyana since quality health care is no longer seen from a perspective of quality and well trained doctors and nurses and other technical staff, but rather “from all of us working together.”
The simple ceremony to hand over the very important project was not without a few cultural items.
In fact, a dramatic piece was undertaken by staffers of the hospital to highlight the right and wrong ways of operating in health facilities when it comes to safe injection and waste management.
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