A total of 71 local health facilities from across Guyana were assessed and all have been found wanting. The assessment is one that was based on the Hospital Safety Index and Green Checklist Standards.
Highlighting this situation on Friday was British High Commissioner to Guyana, Mr. Greg Quinn, who revealed that the assessment was facilitated by the United Kingdom which is currently funding a project that will see hospitals here in Guyana being transformed into facilities that can withstand disasters. The project currently sees the UK working closely with the Public Health Ministry and the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation [PAHO/WHO] office here.
Speaking of the assessment of the hospitals, Quinn said, “These showed that almost all needed improvements to avoid damage and to meet the demand for services during and after any unexpected events.”
According to PAHO/WHO Representative, Dr. William Adu-Krow, the facilities were assessed by some 25 officers of the government, including professionals from the Public Health Ministry and regional engineers. These officers, according to Dr. Adu-Krow, were trained prior to the assessments being conducted.
Following the assessment, Mr. Dhaneshwar Deonarine, who also spoke of assessment during a press conference at the Ministry of Public Health on Friday, said that of the 71 health facilities assessed, the majority were scored a grade C, and none obtained an A. He however noted that there were about three that were graded B. These were the Materials Management Unit at Diamond, the Enmore Polyclinic and the Number 53 hospital in Berbice.
Explaining the grading system, Deonarine said that the A grade indicates that a hospital is likely to function in the case of a disaster, but it is recommended that there is a continuance of measures to improve resource capacity and carry out preventative measures in the medium and long term in the case of a disaster.
In the case of a B grade, Deonarine said that intervention measures are needed in the short term and that the hospital’s current safety measures are such that patients, hospital staff and its ability to function during and after a disaster are potentially at risk.
He also revealed that the C grade indicates that urgent intervention measures are needed and the hospital’s current safety measures are inadequate to protect the lives of patients and hospital staff during and after a disaster.
A total of five local hospitals have been identified to benefit from a £38 million project which is being funded by the UK’s Department for International Development [DFID]. The project, which will see six Caribbean territories and Guyana benefiting, is one that will ensure that measures are in place to make health facilities smart. This will translate to the facilities being safe, green and resilient, during events such as natural disasters.
According to Dr. Adu-Krow, a seminar was held in October of 2017 for contractors and design firms with the objectives to create awareness about the project and also to provide information on the procurement procedures to be followed. A total of 57 persons attended the seminar.
It is expected that with the training, which was done on a national scale, health facilities across the country will be able to incorporate measures to improve their state in accordance with the Hospital Safety Index and Green Checklist Standards and, by extension, be resilient against disasters too.
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