Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony said that there is an urgent need for more Medical Extension Officers (Medexes) to service the health sector and especially hinterland communities, where improved health care services are needed.
He made the statement on Thursday during his address to the orientation class of the 2021-2025 medex programme at the Ministry of Health’s nursing annex in Kingston.
Some 36 students from mostly hinterland communities form the new batch.
“We really need you urgently in the work force and urgently in the community…
When we designed this programme, it was with the intention that we can get to every single community in our country, but to do that, we have to train more people and get them closer to where they need to serve,” Minister Anthony said.
Following the successful completion of the four-year programme, the new health officers will return to serve their respective communities.
Minister Anthony said his ministry will ensure that primary health care is improved across the country.
Director attached to the School of Nursing, University of Guyana, Rev. Dr. Noel Holder implored the students to work together, and continue serving their communities and the country as a whole.
“My hope is that having succeeded, successfully completing the programme, that you stay and give back, you stay and give back, the developmental thrust of the country is based on you, the sacrifice that is made is based on whether you would want to sacrifice at the end of it,” Dr. Holder said.
In invited comments, students thanked the minister for providing them with the opportunity to train in the health sector and fulfilling their dreams.
Student, from Region One, Vanavah Abrams said, “I joined the programme because I wanted to follow my dreams in the medical field, that was a part of what I wanted to do and I would like to thank the minister of health for allowing us and giving us this amazing opportunity for us to strive hard, because all of my colleagues they have passion in the medical field and we would just like to thank him.”
Shimron Ayaw of Region Nine said he feels honoured to be a part of the training and is happy that youths from the hinterland are given the opportunity to participate.
“I’m very pleased to be here, it’s an honour for me. I’m very proud that the ministry of health has given the opportunity to my fellow hinterland youths so it’s an opportunity that I always wanted. My dream was to work in the health field and helping people is my passion, I really love it and I’m very happy to be here,” he said.
Another student, from Region Eight, Laura Carvalho shared similar sentiments.
“I’m so happy and excited and really anxious to start this programme and I want to thank the ministry of health for giving me this opportunity because this has always been my dream and I would like to provide every service I could give back to my community because I would be the first Medex from my community and I want to go back to serve them,” she related.
The medex training programme is sponsored by the health ministry through the University of Guyana. Some 62 Medexes are currently serving across the 10 administrative regions.