Health Minister, Canadian High Commissioner hold fruitful talks

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony has held fruitful talks with Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Ms. Lilian Chatterjee, focusing on key areas for which technical assistance in the health sector can be provided by the Government of Canada.

The discussions were held on October 21, 2020, when Ms. Chatterjee paid a courtesy call on the Minister at his Brickdam office, Georgetown. Counsellor for Development Cooperation at the High Commission, Ms. Janine Cocker and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Mr. Malcolm Watkins were also present.

Ms. Chatterjee explained that a niche area for the Canadian High Commission is the provision of technical assistance in the healthcare field. One of these areas is the possible development of an App geared at tracking COVID-19 patients or those who have been tested.

Dr. Anthony indicated that the development of the App will improve the capacity of officers at the Port Health Department who are stationed at the respective ports of entry, since it will help with more effective surveillance of persons coming into Guyana.

He said support is also needed in the updating of several Acts relating to the health sector, such as the Public Health Act and the Food and Drug Act.  

The opportunity also exists for technical assistance to be made available for the development of a new strategic plan for the Ministry of Health, the development of Guyana’s research capacity, and the introduction of pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) and trans-medicine.

Among the other topics discussed were Canada’s support of Guyana’s response to the COVID-19, private sector interests coming out of Canada, collaborations with Canadian based medical teams, and SMART hospitals.

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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.