Maternal and Child Survival Programme wraps up

─ involved clinical and non-clinical Zika services benefitting infants, children and families

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, June 19, 2019

“It is my pleasure to be here for today’s close out event of the Maternal and Child Survival Programme [MCSP]. The health partnership between our governments supported clinical and non-clinical Zika services benefitting infants, children and families across Guyana. It shows that significant impact has been made to fight the first outbreak of Zika and prepare Guyana for the next.”

Those are the words of United States Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch, during her address at the MCSP Zika Response, National Dissemination close-out event today.

The programme ran for 15 months (Jan 1, 2018– Mar 1, 2019) and was aimed at equipping medical personnel with knowledge on how to treat patients who have contracted the Zika virus, and disaster risk management.

In close partnership with the MCSP, the Public Health Ministry was able to improve the clinical capacity of service providers for newborns and small babies. The project also improved, health workers’ ability to provide therapeutic, early stimulation to children experiencing development delays and psychosocial support to mothers and families affected by Zika.

Though the symptoms of Zika are not present or mild in some cases which last up to one week, the virus can cause serious birth defects to the unborn child’s brain and physical appearance.

The virus could be transmitted not only through infected mosquitoes but, from an infected mother to her unborn child and unprotected sex with a person who has the virus, this is according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

In keeping with the government’s mandate of promoting good health and preventative care for all, this initiative goes hand in hand with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, Good Health and Well-being.

The aim is to achieve universal health coverage, and provide access to safe and affordable medicines and vaccines for all. Supporting research and development for vaccines is an essential part of this process and to make a bold commitment to end AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases by 2030.

Images: Giovanni Gajie