– to determine Guyana’s gains in achieving MDGs
Although not without some challenges, such as limited access to gated communities, the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) is currently at a stage of analysis and will help to inform the progress Guyana has been able to make in the quest to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which have a 2015 deadline.
Regarded as a very important survey by Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Shamdeo Persaud, MICS is designed to enable many countries, including Guyana, to produce statistically sound information. As such, he noted that the information garnered in the survey was premised on education, child protection, water and sanitation, and many health issues, including the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
Dr Persaud disclosed too that part of the focus of the survey is directed to men and women’s health, and special health issues affecting children.
“The MICS will generate for us some good quality population-based information that will address some of the MDGs indicators,” said the CMO as he pointed out that “this year we are wrapping up all of our efforts so that our achievements toward the MDGs will be authenticated and properly measured.”
The findings of the Survey, Dr Persaud said, will also serve to help with the development of the post-2015 agenda.
And according to him, the Ministry of Health is keenly awaiting the results of the survey as there are several pressing health matters that will require attention, such as the threat of the introduction of new infectious diseases. However, he asserted that since one of Guyana’s biggest challenges is that of Non-Communicable Diseases, there is need to look at issues such as smoking, which is a major contributory factor.
At a press conference yesterday the progress of the survey was deliberated on by a panel including Dr Persaud, a representative of the Bureau of Statistics that executed the survey, and Country Representative of the United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF), Marianne Flach.
Speaking at the forum held at the Brickdam, Georgetown, UNICEF Office, representative of the Bureau of Statistics, Ian Manifold revealed that the survey garnered the technical and financial support through UNICEF. And according to him, while gathering the data for the survey was mostly incident-free, there were some instances that the process was hampered. Among these, he listed the inability to reach some of the target people at their homes and the fact that several field officers found difficulty in accessing some affluent communities.
The survey targeted 6,000 households but due to the challenges faced only 5,904 households were enumerated, Manifold said.
According to him, field work commenced on April 1, 2014, and concluded on July 10,, 2014 and allowed for the canvassing of both coastal and interior Regions.
Manifold disclosed yesterday that the final aspect of the survey is slated to be completed by the end of this year.
The survey represents round five of the MICS survey in Guyana.
According to Flach, for many countries the mixture bases are among the most important sources of data used for situational analysis, policy decisions and programme interventions and for influencing public decisions on the situation of women and children.
Moreover, she noted that UNICEF has supported the implementation of such surveys since 1995 and thus has assisted countries in generating high quality data on the situation of women and children.
She said that over the last 17 years, and following four rounds of MICS, a total of 250 surveys have been conducted in over 100 countries.
“We are now conducting round five of the survey in many countries…The findings of these surveys will give us a better idea of the progress that we have made on national priorities as it relates to health, education, protection, participation of children and the issues affecting key populations that need our attention,” Flach said.
She is convinced that once analysed, the data will reveal the gaps that need addressing and serve to inform the Government and UNICEF alike on priorities and areas for collective attention for 2015 and the following years. It will also help to guide “our joint programming together with the Government,” Flach added.
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