The Canada-Guyana Medical Partnerships Coalition (C-GMPC) on February 28, 2015, held its annual fundraiser and silent auction and raised $5,694,498 for family medicine, a release from the Canadian High Commission said on Friday.
The monies will support Family Medicine for Guyana Inc., a registered Guyanese charity whose main role is to support the work of the inaugural Family Medicine Residency Program for Guyana. The release said that the programme is a collaborative effort between the Universities of Ottawa and Guyana, the Institute of Health Sciences Education and the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation. It is intended to build on the endeavours of the Governments of Canada and Guyana to improve primary health care delivery in Guyana. It will support the development and delivery of an inaugural family medicine residency training programme which will see 18 family medicine specialists providing comprehensive, patient-centred, community-based care, and another 30 residents in training by 2020, the release added.
The Canada-Guyana Medical Partnerships Coalition was described as an informal grouping of the numerous Canadian-Guyanese medical outreach groups working to identify and address health care needs in Guyana. The release said that it was established in 2014, by the High Commission of Canada with the support of the Ministry of Health. The coalition has grown to 12 Canadian-Guyanese not-for-profit organisations that deliver medical outreach programmes and 40 medical professionals, with more joining every month.
In remarks at the auction, Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr Nicole Giles said that many would argue that the biggest success of the coalition to date was the 2014 auction in aid of Guyana Help the Kids, a Canadian charity which aims to reduce neonatal and infant mortality here.
“Collectively, we raised over GUY$3million for Guyana Help the Kids. These monies have been used to establish neonatal intensive care units (NICU) at the Suddie and West Demerara Regional Hospitals. This includes purchasing incubators, IV pumps, phototherapy units and the other equipment needed in the NICU, providing training to doctors and nurses on the provision of expert care, and implementing data systems that track progress towards decreasing neonatal and infant mortality. Last year’s fundraiser made an important contribution to decreasing to infant mortality rates in Guyana”, she told the gathering.
She said that the family medicine programme for which money was raised on February 28 will lower health inequities and lead to tangible change in the lives of tens of thousands of Guyanese.
Noting that like most low- and middle-income countries, Guyana is striving to achieve the objectives defined by the Millennium Development Goals, Giles said that the government here has launched and is implementing an aggressive campaign to achieve these targets.
“Tremendous success has been achieved in some areas, particularly towards achieving universal primary education and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. However, there is still work to be done to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health, and more generally, to reduce poverty in Guyana”, she added.
She said she was humbled by the dedication of the members of the Canada-Guyana Medical Partnerships Coalition – Guyanese and Canadian.
“These are people who get up every day to care for others, often using their own funds and vacation time to do so. I stand in awe of their contributions…”, she said.