GPHC establishes COVID-19 maternity unit

─To facilitate delivery of babies from suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation has established a COVID-19 Maternity Unit.

This is a specified quarantine/isolation unit within the department to house pregnant women who are suspected to have COVID-19. Pregnant women who test positive for the coronavirus can have their deliveries in this unit as well.

Junior Departmental Supervisor of the Maternity Department, Nalini Persaud-Duncan, said specially trained staff including midwives and doctors are prepared to deliver the necessary level of care to these maternity cases during this pandemic.

She explained that when a pregnant woman nearing her due date enters the facility, there is a screening procedure that will be followed. This is to ensure that any possible COVID-19 cases do not put staff and other patients at risk of contracting the virus.

“Once we have a suspected case or a confirmed case, the patient is given a mask and placed in an area set aside for them. Swabbing will be done by trained professionals. We have a team volunteering and willing to work with these mothers,” Persaud-Duncan relayed.

This unit is fully equipped including, oxygen tanks, masks and an incubator. There is also a separate delivery room apart from the one that is generally used for deliveries in the Maternity unit.

It was highlighted that private facilities would also send suspected COVID-19 cases from their facilities to GPHC for further screening and observation including maternity cases.

It was therefore advised that to ensure that safer deliveries are guaranteed, all precautions must be applied from the time the person enters the facility at the gate.

“We don’t want the public to be afraid, thinking that they will be nursed with other patients. We have the suspected and confirmed cases set aside. Those mothers-to -be, we would still want to make them comfortable and they work along with us for safer deliveries.”

Meanwhile, pregnant women are encouraged to take all precautions and observe all guidelines issued locally to protect themselves from contracting the virus.

Persaud-Duncan, said, “We advise mothers to continuously wear a mask, continue with your handwashing routine as well as sanitizing, avoid crowded places, attend clinic only when you are scheduled to go.”

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.