The Ministry of Public Health in collaboration with charity organisation, Guyana Help The Kids (GHTK) yesterday (May 7) officially opened the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Bartica Regional Hospital in Region 7 (Cuyuni/Mazaruni).
This was done at a brief but significant ceremony which was attended by Head of State David Granger; First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger; Public Health Minister, Dr. George Norton, other Government ministers, GHTK Representatives and Regional health officials.
Minister Norton, in addressing the gathering, pointed out that the opening of the NICU will see fewer women having to travel from Region 7 to Region 3 for specialised Health-care.
The minister expressed gratitude to the GHTK which has thus far opened 6 NICU’s countrywide in its bid to reduce neonatal mortality in Guyana.
Minister Norton noted that though neonatal mortality is on a decline, it remains a major Public Health concern and the ministry is moving towards enhancing its pre and post-natal programmes and services.
Meanwhile, President of the GHTK, Dr. Narendra Singh, said that his organisation’s guiding principle is to give every baby born in Guyana a fighting chance to survive.
Education, he noted, is an important aspect of that process. According to him, so far they have trained 10 local Pediatricians and so far for this year, 30 NICU nurses. He encouraged all doctors and nurses to continue showing interest in the neo-natal programme.
Regional Health Officer of Region 7, Dr. Edward Sagala stressed the importance of equipment maintenance, since neonatal care is expensive to sustain.
He highlighted the many achievements of the hospital over the past 8 months, while asserting that they intend to become one of the best regional hospitals in Guyana.
Meantime, President Granger told the gathering that there should be no reason why babies have to die. He noted that no resident should have to leave his or her region to access public services. The Head of state expressed gratitude to all those who have supported the development of the Bartica Regional Hospital.
The Main Operating theatre of the hospital was also refurbished and re-opened after being closed for one month.