The Ministry of Health’s Division of Health Sciences Education inducted 90 clinicians and technicians into the medical fraternity at a ceremony hosted on Thursday.
A Government Information Agency (GINA) press release said the group comprised 20 pharmacy assistants, 28 medical laboratory technicians, 20 environmental health officers, 12 public health nurses and 10 dentexes (diploma).
In his address at the ceremony, Minister of Health, Dr Bheri Ramsaran said while the last batch of public health nurses was trained 12 years ago, it is hoped that another batch will start training soon. He charged the graduates to become ambassadors for public health and good living at the level of their respective communities.
In this regard, Dr Ramsaran said the nurses will also be at the forefront of the fight against Non-Communi-cable Diseases (NCDs) particularly diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and hypertension. These illnesses stem from the abuse of alcohol, tobacco consumption, inactivity and poor diet.
In referring to the new health sector strategy titled “Health Vision 2020” which focuses on the fight against NCDs, the minister explained that in the previous plan which concludes at year-end, efforts were focused on tackling HIV/AIDS.
The minister noted that while the health care professionals are there to provide service, individuals should also take responsibility for their personal health. Dr Ramsaran noted too that despite criticisms nurses face, they are the hardest working medical professionals, and in this regard the ministry will be considering increasing their stipend.
In congratulating the students, Wilton Benn, Director, Health Sciences Education, told them their journey had just begun and that it starts with service to the people, overcoming challenges and setting high expectations. In this regard, he urged them to develop a culture of continuous learning as knowledge facilitates growth and to demonstrate caring behaviour.
Regarding continuous academic progression, after serving for a number of years, the students can pursue higher medical education in their respective fields. Most importantly, they can access higher education at the University of Guyana, Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation and via scholarships.
Awards were presented to the best graduating student, best academic student, most improved student and most consistent students from the five respective courses.