As part of the Ministry of Health’s efforts to reduce infant mortality, the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the West Demerara Regional Hospital, has been refurbished. The unit was formally reopened today.
With the renovated NICU, it is expected that fewer women will travel from Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) to Georgetown for specialised health care since it is now accessible in their region.
Minister of Health, Dr George Norton, at the commissioning ceremony stated that “Neonatal mortality in Guyana, though decreasing, continues to be a major public health concern and is currently a primary focus of the Ministry.”
He expressed gratitude to the Guyana Help the Kids organisation which has helped to make the re-opening possible.
Additionally, Dr Norton explained that, “While the NICU provides a better and cleaner environment for our infants, doctors and nurses will be stationed in the NICU and will provide the necessary care for infants. These persons would have to undergo training in the areas of neonatal care and pediatrics and are now fully capable of providing better care to all babies born at the West Demerara Regional Hospital.”
The Minister added that the close cooperation between the Ministry of Public Health and the Guyana Help the Kids organisation “has no doubt lead to a significant decline in neonatal deaths at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation. In December, 2015, the GPHC recorded a drop in mortality from 35% to 7%.”
The Guyana Help the Kids Foundation has collaborated with the Ministry of Health over the past three years to combat infant mortality.
A report from GINA said this registered Canadian charity instituted for the purpose of reducing neonatal mortality in Guyana has provided education and technology at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and the Regional Hospitals.
The refurbishing of the West Demerara Regional Hospital’s NICU began last year and also focused on the pediatric and maternity sections.The Ministry of Health is continuing to develop better health environments to satisfy the needs of all patients and to provide better care.