CA$2.5M agreement signed to improve maternal, neonatal care in hinterland regions


In a bid to support Guyana’s effort to reduce maternal and infant mortality rate in hinterland regions, the Canadian High Commission to Guyana has signed a CAD$2.5M agreement with McMaster University.

The agreement was signed between Canadian High Commission to Guyana, Mark Berman and Associate Clinical Professor of the McMaster University, Dr Narendra Singh at the Cara Lodge Hotel on Tuesday.

In 2022, the infant mortality rate for Guyana stood at 25 deaths per 1000 live births, a 1.61% decline from 2021.

In delivering the feature address, advisor to the Minister of Health Dr. Leslie Ramsammy said no strategy put together to decrease Guyana’s life expectancy will succeed unless there is a “robust” programme to ensure mothers can deliver babies safely and babies can be kept alive.

Advisor to the Ministry of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy

“We had set a target of 75 by 2030, aligning with the SDGs. We are confident that we will achieve that target but we will not be able to unless out indicators for maternal mortality and child mortality are dramatically improved from what it is today,” Dr Ramsammy said.

“The majority of child deaths in this country are neonatal deaths,” he noted.

The project will see investments being made to improved infrastructure, procurement of equipment and training of staff for the survival of women of child-bearing age and newborns and children under the age of 5 in regions 1,7,8 and 9 over the next five years.

And as the country develops, Canadian High Commissioner Mark Berman said Canada is committed to supporting Guyana to ensure the country achieves all of its goals, which include improved health care.

Canadian High Commissioner, Mark Berman

“Throughout the world, including in developed countries such as Canada, we see that accountability, affordability, sustainability…availability of health services targeted towards women, without discrimination, continues to be an issue and challenge in many places,” Berman said.

“Lack of access to health care continues to contribute to gender inequality, to discrimination, to violence and to disempowerment.

“Canada remain very much committed to delivering essential quality health care to every women, every child, every family, everyone, everywhere here in Guyana,” the Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana added.

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