Maternal deaths fell 50 percent in Barima/Waini last year

Maternal deaths fell by 50 percent in Barima/Waini (Region One) in 2018 acting Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr Vishal Ramjas said Thursday.

Dr Ramjas made the announcement during the visit of Minister within the Public Health Ministry, Dr Karen Cummings to Hobodeia Health Post during a three-day stay in the Sub-Region to get a first-hand look at health-related progress in the hinterland area.

The RHO told a community gathering that less women died in 2018 from pregnancy-related complications in 2018 when compared to official Regional statistics compiled in 2017.

“We have recorded a decrease in our pregnant mothers dying. We realised in 2017 we had a high amount of deaths and in 2018 we had a decrease by half the amount”, he said.

There were five maternal deaths in 2017, and just two last year, the RHO said.

Ramjas attributed the slide in, maternal deaths to reinforcement of the country’s National Maternal Mortality Reduction Plan which includes timely transfer of patients, early evaluation of patients, detection of high risk patients, availability of laboratory services for mothers at time of assessment, appraisal of pregnant women on their first visit by a doctor, and ultrasound being available on outreaches by MoPH team, Ramjas explained.

The Barima/Waini RHO told residents that the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine is now being offered to boys and girls who are 9-16 years old as part of a broader national strategy that help in the fight against cervical cancer, which is among the leading causes of death among Guyanese women.

Parents can decide that they do not want their children to take the HPV vaccine, Public Health Minister, Ms Volda Lawrence said when she announced the decision last week at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown.

Barima/Waini is expecting a new shipment of drugs, pharmaceuticals and medical supplies in the Region treat common illness such as diabetes, hypertension, cold, flu, diarrhoea. The RHO said too that the Health Post will be refurbished this year as part of the health sector improvement plan in the interior area.

Meanwhile Minister within the Public Health Ministry, Dr Karen Cummings said provision of youth-friendly spaces can help delay sexual encounters and so help in the fight against teenage pregnancy.

“I want us to provide a more youth friendly space so as to prevent teenage pregnancy and delay early sexual encounters”, Dr Cummings told residents.

Cummings said it is her desire for the village to have a community centre where residents, especially the youths. can engage in extra-curricular activities such as sports, movies and games nights.

“We can create a youth friendly space for teenagers, a place where you can ventilate and interact with others”, she said.

While the Minister is pleased with visits of the government’s mobile dental team to the area, she wants eye-care services added to beef up the Region’s medical outreach package to Barima/Waini residents. The Health Post which is currently being managed by community health worker, Mr Sean Thompson, who is resident of Hobodeia.

Dr Cummings is the first government minister to visit Hobodeia, a riverain village on the Aruka River. It takes some 60 minutes by boat from Kumaka to reach the community populated by approximately 400 persons.

During her impromptu meeting with Sylvestor Antonio, the village Toshao and residents, the Minister reminded them that paying attention to health when one is young will help prevent the myriad diseases and illnesses which today plague the world’s elderly population.