Lowest child, maternal mortality rates recorded, over 22,000 surgeries being performed per year – President Ali

With major investments by the government, significant achievements have been recorded in the public health sector over the past two and a half years.

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali during a press conference held on Wednesday, unveiled some of these achievements including the lowest child mortality rate to ever be recorded in Guyana’s history.

Statistics provided have revealed that the child mortality rate is now at 13 per 1,000 births in 2023, compared to 19 per 1,000 births in 2020. Guyana has also managed to maintain a life expectancy of 70 years compared to 68 in 2020.

“Our goal is to increase life expectancy to 72 by 2026 and 75 by 2030 … This is the reality of the Guyana you live in. This is the result of investment the government is making, real results, real benefit, real transformation for the people of our country,” President Ali underscored.

Additionally, maternal mortality has significantly improved from 170 per 10,000 deliveries in 2017 to 96 per 10,000 deliveries in 2023.

Through private institutions and the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), the number of cardiac surgeries being performed in Guyana has increased tremendously, with more than 250 interventional treatments being offered.

“We expect to introduce regular open-heart surgeries for adults this year to enhance our cardiac service care. This year, we intend to open up for open heart surgeries at the Georgetown Hospital,” the head of state disclosed.

Paediatric cardiac surgery has now been established as a regular programme at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and so far, 12 children have benefitted from open heart surgery in 2023.

Additionally, more brain neurosurgery and other specialised surgeries are being performed at the GPHC and the New Amsterdam hospital.

In 2024, the number of open-heart surgeries for children will increase to more than 40 children per year, President Ali also disclosed. The number of transplants being conducted in Guyana has also increased from four kidney transplants per year to one per month.

Fifty-five knee and hip replacements have been completed and the government is aiming to increase this to more than 100 per year, in an effort to reduce the backlog,

Also, Guyana will complete its first paediatric transplant in October and its first cadaveric transplant in November.

“The number of surgeries has increased and is now approaching more than 22,000 per year … This is the results, the qualitative results of the investment that we’re making,” Dr Ali stated.

Last year, the GPHC announced that CT scans will be offered free of cost and according to President Ali, more than 1,000 CT scans are being conducted per month at the health institution.

These are among some of the many developments that are occurring in the health sector.