Nov 04, 2016 News
-to address high rate of maternal, child deaths
Government with the support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), has developed a project to improve maternal and child health. This project, according to Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Joseph Harmon, was born out of concerns of the high maternal and infant mortality rates that are among the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean.
According to Harmon, Cabinet at its recent sitting agreed to the establishment of a steering committee to oversee the implementation of the project which is entitled ‘Environment and Social Management Plan of the Government of Guyana/Inter-American Development Bank’.
The committee, Harmon disclosed, at the Post Cabinet press briefing yesterday, will be chaired by a representative of the Ministry of Public Health and include representatives from the Ministries of the Presidency, Finance, Communities and Indigenous People’s Affairs.
The Minister of State told media operatives yesterday that the project will be mainly concerned with strengthening reproductive, maternal and neonatal health services as well as the national health care network. The project will commence in early 2017 and is expected to be completed by 2021, Harmon said.
The IDB in recent publicised statement said that it has approved a US$8 million loan for a programme to help reduce maternal, perinatal and neonatal deaths in Guyana.
This programme, according to the information disseminated by the IDB, will seek to improve the quality of care at 140 health facilities and in 88 communities, benefitting at least 140,000 women and 9,000 newborns per year.
Despite progress achieved during the last decade, Guyana continues to experience one of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in Latin America and the Caribbean, with a maternal mortality rate estimated at 121 per 1,000 live births and an infant mortality rate at 22 per 1,000 live births.
About 93 percent of deaths in children less than one year of age occurred in the neonatal period, the programme will therefore support and improve maternal and child health care with a focus on improving access to quality neonatal health services and providing a better path to and quality of reproductive and maternal health services.
This operation draws from the IDB experiences with the Mesoamerican Health Initiative and incorporates lessons learned on evidence-based biomedical and operational interventions.
It will closely monitor results to ensure that those interventions can contribute to the success of the programme.
According to the IDB the US$8 million project will be financed as follows: US$4 million from the IDB’s ordinary capital resources and US$4 million from the Fund for Special Operations (FSO) of the Bank. The loan from the Bank’s ordinary capital has a six-year grace period and a 30-year term. The FSO funding has a term of 40 years with a 40-year grace period and a fixed annual rate of 0.25 percent.
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