11th annual Medical Scientific Research Conference opens

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DPI, Guyana, Sunday, November 4, 2018

The Institute of Health Science Education (IHSE) was today called upon to focus on research programmes that could provide equal opportunities for health care across Guyana.

The call was made by Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO) Dr. Karen Gordon-Boyle, as she delivered opening remarks this morning at the 11th annual Guyana Medical Scientific Research Conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC).

She said it is heartening to see that the institute is supporting local research and challenged the medical practitioners in attendance to learn how persons’ history and places of birth can limit their ability to achieve optimal health.

Dr. Gordon-Boyle said the Ministry of Public Health has embraced the “life course approach to health”, since it recognises that social, geographic and cultural factors, throughout the life course, influence adult health. She said a life course approach is being used in research on social inequalities in health to investigate how experiences and exposures at different stages accumulate and create the social inequalities in morbidity and mortality observed in middle and old age.

According to her, it has been observed across the administrative regions, that there are epidemiological patterns of diseases that reflect social inequalities.

“Why is it that a young man or woman in Region One was found to have vastly higher rates of cholelithiasis [the formation of gallstones] than their counterparts in another region. What is it they are being exposed to there?”

She said these social inequalities and morbidity patterns are a stark reminder that with the planning of health care delivery, “the human being must be the person in mind”.

She also reminded the doctors of their Hippocratic Oath which includes solidarity in the delivery of health services.

Director of the Institute of Health Science Education, Dr. Alexandra Harvey said the conference is geared at carrying out research at the local level so that Guyanese from all walks of life could benefit. Since the last conference last year, she said the institute has introduced various initiatives to promote the research aspect of its mandate. She encouraged all doctors to “fly the flag of local research”.

Alexis Rodney

Images by Keno George