29 to be trained as Pharmacy Assistants in Region Nine

The government continues to decentralize its health services in an effort to improve the delivery of health care countrywide. As part of this ongoing initiative, 29 persons will be trained as the first batch of Pharmacy Assistants in Region Nine (Upper Takutu – Upper Essequibo) funded by the Ministry of Health, on Friday morning.

Through the nine-month training programme, 29 persons pulled from various communities in Region Nine will be trained as the first batch of Pharmacy Assistants. Upon completion, they are guaranteed jobs with the health ministry.

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony addressing attendees at the launching ceremony

They will receive six months of theoretical training followed by extensive practical training sessions.

Region Nine is one of three regions that is benefitting from the decentralized programme as it has already been rolled out in Regions Two and Six.

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony at the launching ceremony in Lethem delivered remarks, where he outlined several health projects being undertaken countrywide including in the Rupununi region where $200 million has been invested to improve health facilities.

Health Minister with the students who will be undergoing the nine-month Pharmacy Assistant Programme

Due to the expanded work programme in the health infrastructure, Dr Anthony alluded to the importance of investing resources to improve the human resource capacity in the health sector.

“While we invest in infrastructure we also need to invest in people. We took the conscious decision of bringing the faculty to the region and doing the programmes in the region where the students will be trained,” Dr Anthony highlighted.

Importantly, these health professionals will help the region and the ministry to ensure that adequate medicines are in stock to serve the residents.

Some of the students who will be undergoing the nine-month Pharmacy Assistant Programme

Students were urged to continuously advance their career paths as the government has provided a pathway for them to pursue a career path in the health sector.

“Once you have a like for these professions in health, there’s an onward pathway. So, you can start as a Pharmacy Assistant then you see career paths where you can go up to another level and then you can keep climbing the ladder,” Minister Anthony expressed while also urging future Pharmacy Assistants to be proactive in their jobs.

The health ministry has decentralized several other training programmes including the Nursing Assistant Programme as well as the Laboratory Technician Training Programme.

The Registered Nurses Training Programme is also being rolled out through a hybrid approach, whereby 1,500 persons are receiving training through online means.

Minister Anthony was accompanied by the Ministry’s Hinterland Coordinator, Michael Gouveia, Regional Health Officer (RHO) Cerdel Mc Watt, Regional Chairman, Brian Allicock, and Health Education Officer, Kim Bristol among others who also delivered brief remarks.