Diabetic foot care, VIA screening to be added to CHW training

Director-General of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Vishwa Mahadeo, M.P. said government will be expanding the Community Health Workers (CHWs) programme to allow for training in diabetic foot care and VIA (Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid) screening.

He made the statement during his debate on the Nurses and Midwives Bill, on Tuesday.

He said the health workers will be upgraded to provide more than just “community health worker basic services.”

Ministry of Health’s Director-General, Dr. Vishwa Mahadeo, M.P.

“They’ll be upgraded to do things like diabetic foot care, they’ll be upgraded, those of them who reach a standard to be able to do VIA.”

He said the expansion will enhance services especially in the hinterland regions where healthcare systems are still advancing.

The PPP/C Administration has made training of CHWs a top priority and is being undertaken by the ministry of health.

In 2021, 54 community health workers graduated in Region One, gaining the knowledge and skills to better serve their communities within that Region. Also, the government is currently training persons in the area of nursing assistants.

In Region Nine, 62 CHWs were trained and graduated with 33 others who received training to become nursing assistants.

In his debate, Dr. Mahadeo said the training opportunities have been fruitful, and there is at least one CHW in every health facility across Regions One and Nine.

Meanwhile, government is also providing training opportunities in other areas such as laboratory technician and specialised nursing.

With rapid developments taking place in Guyana’s health sector, the nurses training curriculum will soon be updated with recommendations provided by international healthcare organisations.

Some community health workers from Region Nine.

“Currently we have with us a team from York University that is looking at the nursing curriculum so that we can bring it up to standard with the rest of the world, so that we could provide services, we could provide training comparable to the rest of the world,” Dr. Mahadeo said.

The Nurses and Midwives Bill 2022, which makes provision for the registration and regulation of nurses, midwives and nursing assistants, was passed in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

The new legislation, among other things, seeks to establish the Nurses and Midwives Council, thereby setting out the functions and powers of the body, allowing it to appoint committees.