By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – At the end of 2015, Guyana could be one of the countries that have not achieved the eight Millennium Development Goal (MDG) as outlined in the United Nations declaration, according to APNU+AFC health specialists.
APNU+AFC’s, Dr Suredra Persaud bluntly speaking at a press conference on Monday, April 20 questioned whether there is “an acceptable number of our women that should die becoming mothers? The answer is no – zero.”
According to Dr Persaud, Guyana will not be able to achieve that goal but nonetheless an APNU+AFC government will look to eradicate maternal mortality completely.
“It doesn’t matter what that number is, it is still. We can’t hit it, even the Ministry has said it; we are not going to hit it. And even if we were to hit it, it’s still not acceptable, it’s an arbitrary figure….what we are going after is zero because no woman in the world should die giving birth,” said a passionate Dr Persaud.
Meanwhile, Dr Karen Cummings posited that “Guyana is in a health crisis” as she pointed out that attention is being placed on speciality care rather than on primary health services.
“It seems as though the PPP/C has shifted their emphasis from primary and preventative health to tertiary and speciality care,” said Dr Cummings.
She posited that a multi-sectoral approach would be needed to combat the issue of health in Guyana but while this is so, APNU+AFC will be placing mental and maternal health on the front burner, if it is elected to office.
A recent UN report noted that Guyana has succeeded in reducing the number of maternal deaths and increasing the availability of skilled health personnel at births but ante natal care coverage and contraceptive prevalence are on the rise.
“The country is currently assessed as having the potential to meet the MDG target of reducing the maternal mortality ratio by three-quarters, and has a mixed outlook on the target to achieve universal access to reproductive health.Maternal mortality has been on a decreasing trend in recent years. The maternal mortality ratio declined from an adjusted baseline of 320 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1991 to 86 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2008. In general maternal health has improved, bolstered by almost universal antenatal care coverage, increased access to improved facilities,” the MDG report stated.