Neonatal project sees 50% fewer deaths in a year

There has been a 50% reduction in the number of infant deaths at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) in the first year of implementation of a Neonatal Intensive Care Services project between the Ministry of Health and Dr Narendra Singh’s Guyana Help the Kids (GHTK) organisation.

A release from the Government Information Agency (GINA) said this was revealed on Tuesday by Dr Singh, founder of GHTK, at a seminar, titled ‘Neonatal network – saving our babies’ held at the Resource Centre of the GPH.

According to Dr Singh, the partnership was developed by the government and GHTK over a year ago, to ensure safer delivery for mothers, healthier childhood for infants and to reduce infant mortality (children under 5 years). Under the project the Ministry of Health is constructing neonatal units outfitted with air conditioning and oxygen, while GHTK is providing the specialised equipment at the five main public hospitals: Georgetown, New Amsterdam, Linden, West Demerara and Suddie; as well as providing specialised paediatric training for health personnel.

Dr. Narendra Singh, Founder of the Guyana Help the Kids, addressing the gathering at the seminar. (Government Information Agency photo)
Dr. Narendra Singh, Founder of the Guyana Help the Kids, addressing the gathering at the seminar. (Government Information Agency photo)

These institutions were chosen after a survey showed that they account for 85% of babies born in the country. The project was piloted in Georgetown and later rolled out to the New Amsterdam and Linden hospitals.

The neonatal units at West Demerara Regional and Suddie hospitals are expected to be functional later this year.

Dr Singh emphasised that while the specialised equipment was necessary, the health personnel’s skills were more important. As a result a key component of the project was the development of a paediatric residency programme through collaboration among several entities to train physicians to become qualified paediatricians.

Dr Clive Bowman and Dr Seepersaud Chatterdeo created history in September 2013 as the first locally trained paediatricians when they wrote the Guyana paediatric residency licencing exams. An additional eight doctors are currently in the paediatric residency programme.

A neonatal nurse training programme was also developed and 11 nurses have graduated from the first batch. Seventeen nurses are currently enrolled in the nurse’s training programme.

According to Dr Singh, the training also has an infection control aspect, delivering multiple lectures and demonstrations.

A retrospective review of log books and charts at GPH had been conducted in 2011 and a data collection system was put in place from January 2012. This data showed a 50% reduction in the number of deaths at the hospital within the period of a year of implementation of the neonatal project.

Additionally, in January 2013, GHTK in collaboration with Dr Lorna Fitzpatrick from the University of Buffalo introduced an oncology programme to treat babies born with leukaemia.

Dr Singh stated that efforts were being made to network the hospitals, so that doctors can consult each other in critical cases where expert opinions are needed.

Emphasis is also being placed on a safe transport system. Transport incubators are now available at the GPH and New Amsterdam neonatal units.

By 2016, when all the units are up and running and there are enough trained professionals to manage the units, the Ministry of Health will take complete ownership of the programme and will be responsible for sustaining the units including purchasing new equipment and continuing the training programmes.

The seminar was attended by Minister of Health Dr Bheri Ramsaran, Director of Regional Health Services Dr Monica Odwin, Chief Executive Officer of the GPHC Michael Khan, several local and international doctors from the public hospitals, other staff of the GPHC and representatives from private sector health institutions.

More in Local News

default placeholder

Draft bill sees state assets recovery via civil proceedings

The draft State Assets Recovery Bill 2016 envisages non-conviction based, civil recoveries of property over $10m with a 12-year limitation period and wide powers will be available to the agency to be set up under the law to gather information.

Raphael Trotman

Gov’t will not be ‘lectured to in the press’ on forest concessions, Trotman says

Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Raphael Trotman yesterday said that the government will not be “lectured” to in the press on the issue of forestry concessions, while announcing that the arrival of officials from a company in China that may take over the operations of the controversial Baishanlin is being awaited.

Black Bush murder victims laid to rest: Rice farmer, Pawan Chandradeo, 37; his fifteen-year-old son, Jaikarran Chandradeo, both of 163 Mibicuri North, Black Bush Polder and his brother-in-law Naresh Rooplall, 33, of Number 75 Village, Corentyne were yesterday laid to rest following an emotional funeral. They were buried at the Babu John Cemetery, Port Mourant. The trio were found dead on Friday, less than a day after they had left to go on a fishing trip in Black Bush Polder. Intense investigations are underway into the murders. Photo shows the caskets of the three victims and part of the crowd that gathered.

Black Bush triple murder suspects brought to city

Seven men, including the main suspect who was arrested in connection with the Black Bush Polder, Corentyne triple murder were transported to Georgetown on Tuesday evening and are currently being questioned by ranks from the Criminal Investigation Department’s (CID), Major Crimes Unit.

Anthony Jhagroo

Bulletin issued for suspect in murder of mechanic

The police yesterday issued a  bulletin for Anthony Jhagroo, who is wanted for questioning in relation to two offences: escaping from lawful custody and the murder of mechanic, Yugeshwar Shiwcharan.

default placeholder

Five cops under close arrest over stolen gold

Five police officers attached to the Brickdam Police Station are currently under close arrest after they allegedly stole a quantity of raw gold from some miners last Friday.

default placeholder

Norway team ‘horrified’ at bauxite mining in pilot village Muritaro

A private bauxite mining operation in the Amerindian community of Muritaro on the Demerara River, discovered by members of a “horrified” team from Norway, was shut down by the Ministry of Natural Resources late last year, since the community was one identified to benefit from the Guyana-Norway forest protection scheme.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: