Challenges to children's health examined at Ottawa conference

Stabroek News
October 12, 1999

High rates of maternal mortality and morbidity, anaemia, poor nutrition and low birth weight were identified as some of the major challenges which Guyana continues to face in its efforts at attaining a healthy start for all of its children.

This was the thrust of an address by Yvonne Hinds, wife of Prime Minister Samuel Hinds to the Ninth Conference of Spouses of Heads of State/Government of the Americas. Hinds headed Guyana's delegation to the meeting in Ottawa, Canada, and made her presentation on the sub-theme 'A Healthy Start: Investing in Children 0-6 years'.

A press release from the Guyana Information Services (GIS) stated that Hinds gave an overview of the Guyana situation with experiences and records of progress regarding infant development as well as plans that are outlined for the future.

These plans, according to the release, include a promotion and intensification of efforts at attaining Mother and Baby Friendly status in all hospitals, supplements for undernourished children and the integrated management of childhood illnesses.

The release also identified the other sub-theme highlighted at the conference 'Women's Health'.

The conference benefited from presentations by United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Regional Director, Pat Engebag; Chief of External Relations, Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) Dr Irene Killinger; and Professor Emeritus at the University of Calgary, Canada, Dr Watanabe.

Guyana's delegation to the conference included Paulette Cornette, counsellor, Guyana mission in Ottawa. Guyana was also represented, according to the release, at the NGO fair held parallel to the conference by Pat Sheerattan-Bisnauth, marketing and fund raising manager of Help and Shelter and Sandra Hooper, director of Day Care, in the Georgetown Municipality.

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