First nursing programme launched in Region Nine

─ Health Minister lauds youth for taking up the challenge

As Guyana embarks on the massive expansion of its healthcare services, Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony, M.P, on Tuesday launched the Nursing Assistant Programme at the Lethem Training Annex in Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo (Region Nine).

This programme is the first of its kind in the region.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony at the launching of the Nursing Assistant Programme in Region Nine

Director of Health Sciences, Dr. Seraiah Validum explained that 28 students from Region Nine, along with five from Region Eight are being trained to be qualified Nursing Assistants.

Regional Vice Chairman, Bertie Xavier described the launching of the programme as a historic one and encouraged the students to go above and beyond with the opportunities being provided.

“Rise beyond the limit…we will continue to support you at the level of the [Regional Democratic Council], and we will support you in whatever way you so deserve,” Xavier said.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony flanked by officials at the launching of the Nursing Assistant Programme in Region Nine

Delivering the feature address at the well-attended ceremony, Dr. Anthony said Guyana’s massive economic development will require a significant upgrade in the health sector, citing the enormous resources allocated in the 2022 National Budget for this purpose.

“These investments were not made by accident. We have to invest in developing our health centres, our health posts, district [and] regional hospitals…and at the same time ensure we have…the things needed so that we can improve the quality of care,” Dr. Anthony noted.

Minister Anthony highlighted the government’s plans to fully transform Guyana’s healthcare sector, saying that the development of the country’s human resource is most important to the sector’s transformation.

Some of the nursing students at the launching of the programme

“[Human resources are] the most important component. So, if we are doing the other things, the infrastructure and the equipment, and we are not improving the human resources, then we would still not be able to deliver the kinds of care that we want,” he explained.

The minister congratulated the batch of students for being “a pioneering group”, and encouraged them to blaze the trail so that others would easily be able to follow.

“You are a historic group, you are a pioneering group, and therefore we want to see and we are invested in your successes…use this as an appetizer so that you can go research and learn more.”

The Ministry of Health is embarking on 16 different programmes to train and upskill people in healthcare services.

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