The Ministry of Public Health today, commissioned a rehabilitated Maternity Waiting Home at the Indigenous Residence, Princess Street, Georgetown. The facility will accommodate some thirteen (13) high-risk pregnant mothers from the hinterland and other far-flung areas.
The project was executed by the Ministry of Public Health through funding from the Inter-American Development Bank. The building is equipped with modern amenities such as beds and cupboards, a television set, microwave and washroom facilities. It allows pregnant women to travel to Georgetown several weeks before delivery, await the onset of labour, before being transferred to the main referral hospital for safe delivery.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence said that the project forms part of the government’s strategy to end maternal, prenatal and neonatal deaths throughout Guyana.
She noted that her ministry wants to make a difference in the life of every Guyanese, including the Indigenous peoples who, incidentally, are celebrating Indigenous Heritage Month.
“I hope that this facility will serve as a comfortable and caring home away from home, where your health and pregnancies will be monitored and safe delivery procedures can be assured… Our mandate is to increase access to health services and reduce maternal deaths by bridging the geographical barriers to access quality health care. Our goal is to provide the same level of care that pertain in the coastland in our hinterland regions,” Minister Lawrence explained.
Minister Lawrence expressed gratitude to the IDB and other stakeholders who would have assisted the ministry to move along the continuum of ensuring good health and wellbeing in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals.
Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock noted that the project is a significant achievement for the ministry, as it endeavors to provide quality of services to the Indigenous peoples of Guyana.
The minister explained that the new facility complements the major works the ministry has been executing at the Indigenous Residence, to ensure that people are being housed in a comfortable environment. The current maternity ward also benefitted from a facelift.
“Today marks another milestone in the history of healthcare for Indigenous peoples. To you, the residents of the various villages, we want you to work with us and let us know how we can make things better for you,” Minister Allicock told the residents.
The project began in January 2018 at a cost of almost $800,000 and is part of a $1.6Million project that will see several other facilities also being furnished. A staff nurse and nursing assistant are currently at the facility. A medic and visiting doctor will be added to the staff complement.
Guyana currently has three maternity waiting for homes; one in Suddie – Region Two, one in Georgetown – Region Four, and one in Lethem – Region Nine. Similar facilities will be constructed in Annai and Moruca, Region Nine.
Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe and Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Alfred King were also present at the event.
By: Synieka Thorne.