An innovative project aimed at further improving the delivery of health care was yesterday launched at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
The project, which is being dubbed the Guyana Spirometry and Asthma/COPD Education programme, is an initiative introduced through collaboration between the Institute of Health Science Education at the GPHC, the Ministry of Health, the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta and the University of British Columbia, both in Canada.
Chairing the proceedings was Dr Sheik Amir, GPHC’s Director of Medical and Professional Services, who informed that the project will also cater to the addressing of chronic obstruction pulmonary diseases. He explained that the project, which is being undertaken under the Guyana/Canada partnership for health care development, was initially intended to bring cardiac diagnostic capabilities and equipment to the public health care system.
However, he noted that moves were made to expand the venture, whereby it has incorporated Spirometry and Asthma, chronic renal diseases, among other areas.
“In other words, it is going to embark on these chronic non-communicable diseases programmes that we have. This venture is one in keeping with international mandate, and Guyana is a signatory to this, to ensure that the burden of the diseases we have… These chronic non-communicable diseases remain not really a burden to us, but as something that we can overtime manage and manage efficiently.”
Among those integrally spearheading the project are Dr Kishan Narine and Professor Debra Isaac of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute and the University of Calgary.
Professor Isaac, through an audio-visual presentation, sought to explain to those present the importance of the project, in the quest to address the impact of chronic non-communicable diseases.
Those in attendance included several senior health and administrative officials including the GPHC’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Michael Khan.
Also speaking to the importance of the project was Dr Robert Levy of the University of British Columbia. In delivering brief remarks which amplified the extensive support that the public hospital will be receiving, Dr Levy explained that efforts will be made to train persons within the local public health sector. The training, according to him, will be facilitated by overseas-based colleagues, mainly from the University Calgary.
At least five local health personnel have been identified for training including Dr Kumarie Jaipersaud, Dr Radha Luknauth, Dr Dev Persaud, and Registered Nurses Ron Morris and Esofa Piggott.
“We are starting off with this prototype and we hope to expand successfully,” said Dr Levy, who disclosed that the project will embrace a mandate and chronic disease management strategy in place for Guyana, which focuses on a number of chronic diseases.
This, according to him, underscores how efforts can be made to look at a total diseases management perspective, with a view to identifying risk factors and how they can be reduced, while at the same time looking at integrated disease management and education.
Also crucial is the need for proper surveillance, monitoring and evaluation, as well as the development of public policy advocacy and communication, and moves to make sure that there is adequate project management to move things along, Dr Levy explained.
Of even more importance, he noted, is that efforts must be made to take into consideration that “when you are dealing with limited resources it is very important to figure out what are the priorities in health care spending.”
Also speaking passionately about the programme was Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shamdeo Persaud, who insisted that “this is a very proud moment for all of us.”
“Even though we might not be directly involved in delivering this service…at the Ministry of Health, we are all very happy that Georgetown Hospital along with the partners…are at this point launching another great initiative to move us closer to our goals as a Health Ministry and as a people altogether,” he concluded.
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