Strides in Health Care earns Guyana Health Award
Guyana Chronicle
November 23, 2002

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We wish to join with others both nationally and internationally in congratulating Guyana for the recent award it received from the United Nations for its immunization programme.

To say the least, the country has done exceedingly well in the area of health Care, and receiving such an award is only deserving of the local Ministry of Health and Guyana as a whole.

The award was presented to Guyana’s Health Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy during the Global Alliance for Vaccination (GAVI) conference which was recently held in Senegal, Africa.

We note with satisfaction that Guyana is the only Caribbean country to be honoured among 13 others.

It is worthy to note that in 2001 Guyana started benefiting from GAVI for local vaccination programmes, and according to Minister Ramsammy, it is estimated that between the years 2001 and 2005, Guyana would have received aboutUS$1.3 M in terms of vaccine purchases.

Many Guyanese also note with admiration that currently several vaccines are being provided locally. These include the BCG for Tuberculosis, OPV, Pentavalent including DPT, HIB and Hepatitis B for influenza and whooping cough, Diptheria and Tetanus (DT) for children and pregnant women, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) and Yellow Fever.

Guyanese note that since coming to office in October of 1992, the Government has put Health Care and other important sectors including Housing, Water and Education among others on the front burner, spending billions of dollars only to improve and provide these essential facilities to all Guyanese.

The people note with appreciation, the large sums government is spending for the delivery of proper Health Care. Expenditure in the Health Sector moved from $725 million in 1992 to $6 Billion to date.

This amount indeed speaks for itself, for when one looks around this sector, there is only development one could see, taking the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation for example, where one sees only spanking new wings and equipment, not to mention staff complement.

The Guyanese public recognizes the new and innovative strategies which the Health Ministry employs for the effective delivery of Health Care and to continually consolidate the achievements made over recent years.

Some of these achievements include completely new wards for Maternity and Gynecology patients, reopening of the Dermatology Department which had been closed for several years because of the absence of a Dermatologist, the mortuary has reopened after being closed for decades under the PNC and post mortems are now being done at the hospital’s Pathology Centre.

The Medical Out-patient Department has been rehabilitated and new transformers have been installed to improve electricity supply at the hospital which will improve the performance of sensitive equipment. Air conditioning has improved, housekeeping in the compound has improved, while a new blood bank is operational. There is also a new Chest clinic in the hospital’s compound, and Guyanese can now have the services of improved mammography, ultra sound, laboratory and pharmacy services.

Only recently a new Burns care Unit was established at the hospital which will offer specialized treatment for burnt patients.

We believe there is an overall strong political commitment to achieve the health-for-all goals by the government so that Guyanese can become more socially and economically productive.

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