$5.6M public health project launched
Guyana Chronicle
July 12, 2004

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A $5.6M project to determine the causes and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Guyana was launched Friday at the Emba-Sea Courtyard (formerly Cara Inn) in Pere Street, Kitty.

Bearing the theme, "Strengthening Public Health in Guyana", the project is a collaborative effort between the Canadian Society for International Health (CSIH) and the Guyana Ministry of Health. It is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The project's goal is to improve and maintain the health of Guyanese with an integrated approach to disease, it's prevention, diagnosis, management and care at both the national and regional levels.

The purpose of the project is to strengthen the public health system by enhancing the capacity of the Government to better manage, deliver and monitor disease prevention and control programmes in the areas of AIDS, and to effectively plan, manage, and evaluate the country's health care services.

At the end of the project there should be:
1) An improved national programme for the prevention and control of STIs and HIV/AIDS
2) Improved methods of collecting, processing and distributing health data to areas where this information could best be used

3) A better understanding of the importance of information in public health planning

4) Improved awareness of community-based approaches for disease prevention and control, and strengthened human resource capacity to sustain project gains.

Project Coordinator of the CSHI Ms. Emily Cumberbatch said that samples for the study would be collected from the West Demerara Hospital, the Mackenzie Hospital in Linden, the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association (GRPA), and the Genito Urinary Medicine (GUM) Clinic.

Some 250-300 sample discharges would be taken from males and females on swabs and from urine and will be sent for testing. Fifty ulcer samples would also be taken for examination.

The results from that programme would then be taken to the various Regions of the country for possible implementation.

Minister of Health Dr. Leslie Ramsammy in brief remarks at Friday's launching, said that although the programme is not going to perfect public health, it will certainly enhance it.
He encouraged Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to work closely with the Government to ensure that the project is a successful one.
The project, which is expected to last for six months, should begin in September of this year. (Shawnel Cudjoe)