34 now certified as Community Health Workers in Region 8

In a significant development for Region Eight’s health sector, 34 individuals from 23 different communities have successfully completed their training to become certified Community Health Workers (CHWs).

This achievement represents a valuable addition to the human resource pool in the region’s healthcare system. The journey for these CHWs began in Mahdia, Region Eight, where they underwent comprehensive training that encompassed both theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony delivering the feature address

The rigorous training commenced in October 2023. It saw participants being equipped with the competencies required to deliver quality healthcare services.

On Friday, a graduation ceremony was held for the newly minted workers at the Roger Hinds Hotel in Mahdia township. It saw them marking their preparedness to apply the knowledge and skills they acquired during their training.

The event was graced by Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, Hinterland Coordinator Michael Gouveia and Deputy Director of Health Sciences Education, Chandroutie Persaud, among others.

In his feature address, Minister Anthony reiterated the government’s strategic approach to training, ensuring health workers serve within their respective communities.

This approach was taken due to the reluctance of individuals to relocate permanently to remote areas.

He then expounded on the government’s aim to offer 115 different interventions at the primary healthcare level. In this vein, he expressed satisfaction about the health workers being exposed to some of these interventions.

“I’m also very pleased that you were exposed to a little bit of telehealth training. Why is that important? Because we are now using a lot of telemedicine equipment to be able to lift the quality of care that we can do at the primary level,” he explained, stating that Region Eight is slated to have additional telemedicine sites in 2024.

With internet access to become available in villages to facilitate telemedicine, Minister Anthony urged all the graduates to keep pursuing additional education in health, so they can elevate themselves.

Region 8 produced the first batch of Community Health Workers on Friday

The ministry has a partnership with United States (US) company, Coursera, where close to 11,000 courses are available to those in the health profession, free of cost.

Furthermore, Minister Anthony underscored the government’s commitment to reshaping Guyana’s health sector into a world-class system.

“You can help us to build this from the ground going up. We have to start with community care. We have to make sure that we are able at the very elementary level to make some of these diagnoses. And when we make them, to have the capabilities of treating them,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, with the healthcare system experiencing rapid transformation due to strategic investments, many opportunities exist.

“We want to make sure that you’re properly trained so you can take advantage of these many opportunities that will be coming your way,” the minister relayed.

CHWs were also reminded of their critical role in preventing chronic non-communicable diseases in their respective villages by educating persons on healthy lifestyle choices

Also attending the graduation were the Regional Chairman Headley Pio, Regional Executive Officer Peter Ramoutar, and Regional Health Officer Dr Talitha Cort and friends, families and loved ones of the Community Health Workers. 

This is the first group of Community Health Workers (CHWs) to receive training in Region Eight, and they achieved a 100 percent pass rate. They will be hired by the Ministry of Health within their respective communities.

The human resource pool within Guyana’s healthcare sector is being expanded to complement the modernisation of Guyana’s health infrastructure. Around 12 state-of-the-art hospitals are to be constructed nationwide, including in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine.

In 2023, the ministry produced the first batch of 22 Pharmacy Assistants in Region Two who were then posted to health facilities across the region.

In March 2024, Region 10 also produced the first batch of Community Health Workers, further boosting healthcare for residents there.

And in April, 27 Pharmacy and 31 Nursing Assistants graduated in Lethem, Region Nine.

Over 1,000 individuals across various regions are currently enrolled and undergoing the Professional Nursing Hybrid Nursing Programme, through online and in-person classes.