Health Ministry reducing maternal deaths in indigenous communities

DPI, Guyana, Friday, July 20, 2018

Indigenous leaders were today reassured that the lives of all Guyanese women are important and that the government will not sit by and allow the loss of lives under circumstances that can be easily prevented.

Addressing toshaos and senior village councillors on the final day of the National Toshaos’ Council Conference this morning, acting Director of the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Department Dr. Ertenisa Hamilton told the village leaders that the Ministry of Public Health is currently taking steps to reduce the high incidences of maternal deaths in hinterland communities.

Director of Maternal and Child Health Department, Dr. Ertenisa Hamilton.

She explained that Regions One, Barima-Waini and Nine, Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo are statistically the two hinterland regions with the highest number of maternal deaths. The MCH director said hinterland regions are recording a high number of deaths because of several reasons. These include haemorrhaging before and after delivery and high blood pressure.

It has also been found that women join clinics during the late stages of their pregnancies. This, she said, is a very serious matter. Women also continue to deliver at home with persons who are not trained to deliver babies.

According to Dr. Hamilton, the Public Health Ministry will be investing in the training of Community Health Workers (CHWs’) and midwives within hinterland communities. She said Region Nine has already received its first batch of CHWs while training will commence in September of 20 CHWs for Region One.

Regions Seven, Cuyuni-Mazaruni and Eight, Potaro-Siparuni will have their training next year.

Dr. Hamilton said too that indigenous communities will also have maternity waiting homes. Government through the Inter- American Development Bank (IDB) is currently extending the waiting home in Region Nine and Four and this is also being proposed for Morouca.

According to Dr Hamilton, the government has facilities across the ten administrative regions that provide services for pregnant women and children.

By: Alexis Rodney.
Image: Keno George.

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