New Region 9 Community Health Workers commit to fully serving their communities

The 61 new Community Health Workers (CHWs) who graduated on Sunday in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) have committed themselves to selfless service to the region.

The 2021 batch of healthcare workers received their certificates from Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, at the Indigenous People’s Conference Hall, Lethem.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, MP.

DPI spoke with some of the CHWs, who noted the many challenges they face due to the pandemic. They said they are however, ready to provide quality health care services to their communities.

Best graduating student, Dave John said he faced many challenges, including having to get back to studies after an extended period, missing his family and not being able to travel because of the pandemic.

Best graduating student, Dave John.

He said the training programme is a stepping stone. He believes it is a challenge for any young person to elevate themselves in the health sector.

“I see this as a stepping stone mostly because from the time I’ve been here in training, I got to hear from the persons who would’ve started as CHWs then climb up the ladder. So, I believe for any young person, it’s a challenge they would need to take so that they can elevate themselves in their career and put them on a path,” the new CHW said.

He said when he returns to his community, he will be doing mostly the practical aspects of his training to enhance his community’s health care standards.

“I would be mostly doing vital signs and visitations so that the community can get to the level that they are supposed to be at, using traditional and the medicine that we would have learnt, so that the community can to the standard the country supposed to have.”

Community Health Worker, Shireen Browne.

Another new CHW, Shireen Browne plans to do the same.

“What I plan to do, is to visit homes and talk on basic sanitation and all the things that we have learned in class and mostly with our children vaccination programmes and of course our COVID vaccines…

I think this is a great programme, and I would encourage anybody to start here,” Browne said.

Meanwhile, Raulin Adolphus said, “the training is important; I have to go back now to share what I learn and practice what was taught to me…

This is a nice, simple training because you don’t really have to get the CXC subjects to come in, it’s a nice way of coming in the health system and through the health system you could upgrade yourself,” he said.

Community Health Worker, Raulin Adolphus.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony said his ministry will be offering nursing aide, pharmacy and laboratory aide programmes in 2022.

He said the programmes are government’s way of creating career paths for persons wanting to go join the health sector.

“We’re creating new career paths, career paths that was never there before so you don’t have to be a Community Health Worker for the rest of your life. This should be the stepping stone where you can train to become other health care professional within the system and we are going to create that path for you,” Minister Anthony said.

He saidhealth centers in Region Nine will be receiving health packages of all necessary equipment to properly serve residents of the villages.

“We have an undertaking that all the health centers in this region would receive a package of equipment that would be based at each health center or health post.”

He said systems are already in place for infrastructural works to be done at the Karasabai, Annai and Aishalton district hospital.

Further, the health ministry will ensure the hospital is equipped with theaters, to facilitate minor operations. It will also allow doctors to optimise their skills and provide improved health care services to hinterland communities.