Leonora Hospital’s maternity unit expansion completed – to be commissioned shortly

DPI, Guyana, Monday, October 2, 2017

The Maternity Unit at the Leonora Cottage Hospital has been expanded to aid in the reduction of maternity cases being referred to the West Demerara Regional Hospital. The newly extended unit, which was catered for in the Ministry of Public Health’s 2017 Budget, is expected to be commissioned shortly.

The West Demerara Regional Hospital has been overburdened with referrals of maternity cases from the region (West Demerara – Essequibo Islands). The Leonora Cottage Hospital, being strategically located in the region, will be able to facilitate maternity cases requiring urgent and emergency care.

Leonora Cottage Hospital building which houses the extended Maternity Unit

Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings, visited the Leonora health facility to receive an update on the services being offered. She said that the maternity unit’s expansion was part of the President’s vision to ensure a reduction in the number of referrals daily.

“His Excellency president David Arthur Granger’s vision is to upgrade this hospital so that we can reduce the load of persons going to West Demerara.”

She added that the unit’s expansion is in keeping with the country’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) three which seeks to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages.

More specifically, the second aspect of SDG three considers the implementation of systems to safeguard the health and well-being of newborns and children under five. Additionally, focus is placed on ending preventable deaths of newborns and children under five years of age by 2030, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least 12 per 1,000 live births, and under-five mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births.

We definitely want to reduce that (Maternal deaths) towards sustainable development goal three where we want to have well-being for citizens. We are hoping to very soon have operations down here and we can have persons making this a stop gap instead of going straight to west demerara and to be a hub for riverine areas”, the minister explained.

Minister Cummings noted that Guyana fell short of achieving Millennium Development Goal number five which looked at improving maternal health. As of August 2017, eight maternal deaths have been recorded in the country for the year. Focusing on Region Three, the minister is confident that the rehabilitation, upgrading, and expansion of maternity units throughout the country can result in reduced maternal mortality.

By: Delicia Haynes

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