Govt making health inroads with thousands screened for NCDs
The Ministry of Health has rolled out a comprehensive screening programme for major non-communicable chronic diseases that saw 53, 791 persons being screened in the first half of 2023.
The amount surpasses the 2023 target of 50,000 and is significant when compared to the over 27,000 persons screened in the previous year. This is according to information provided by the Ministry of Finance’s Mid-Year Report 2023.
To effectively manage and prevent diabetes, the ministry commissioned the Lusignan Diabetic Clinic in April which is fully operational. It offers services including eye screening, cardiovascular, screening, diabetic wound care, x-ray, laboratory, and rehabilitative services.
Furthermore, an expanded communication strategy to support the national diabetes campaign will be launched during the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) matches in Guyana.
Meanwhile, the ministry continues to place emphasis on mental health, as the expansion of the mental health ward at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) was completed in the first quarter of 2023 and is now able to house an additional 15 patients with a total capacity of 22.
In the area of communicable diseases, a total of 91,744 insecticidal nets were procured by the ministry as of mid-year, as it battles against the spread of malaria in communities across the country.
Additionally, expectant mothers in Region Eight are now guaranteed safe delivery as construction of the maternal waiting at Kato has been completed, while a similar home is being established at Mabaruma, Region One. Meanwhile, upgrades to the New Amsterdam maternity ward in Region Six will be completed in the second half of the year.
In the hinterland, the ministry has mandated health departments in these areas to conduct specialised medical outreaches which include ultrasound and laboratory testing for patients, especially pregnant mothers, and children.
“For the first half of 2023, four medical outreaches were conducted with 235 mothers benefitting from specialised obstetrics and gynaecology services, and over 1100 ultrasounds were done,” the mid-year report disclosed.
Healthcare workers were trained to recognise post-partum depression in Regions One, Seven, Eight, and Nine, with the implementation of screening expected to begin in the second half of the year.