Regional health sector boosted as 64 persons graduate from capacity building programme

Some 64 clinical and public health practitioners from across the Caribbean are now holders of certificates in healthcare, enabling them to better contribute to the Caribbean’s developing health sector.

The three-month course saw persons instructed in either Leadership and Management in Health, or Policy Development and Advocacy for Global Health, both done at the University of Washington.

The regional health sector boosted as 64 persons graduated from capacity building programme

Speaking to the Department of Public Information, Vishal Joseph, a medical intern attached to the New Amsterdam hospital, who received his certificate in Leadership and Management in Health, said his training has helped to highlight the importance of leadership, especially as Guyana’s health sector expands.  

Vishal Joseph

He said, “I think that, within the Guyana context, as we evolve, as our President places increased emphasis on the development of the healthcare sector, and we broaden the services, there is an increased need for management and there must be leadership and vision. Under the stewardship of the Honourable Dr Frank Anthony, we have made significant strides in the health sector, but I think that he needs support as we continue to expand all the work that the government is doing.”

Another graduate, Caryl Chester-Welch, an administrative officer under the Global Fund Health Project, related that the training was impactful in outlining the key differences between leadership and management in the sector.

Caryl Chester-Welch

She said, “One of the key takeaways for me is that being a leader, you help to impact someone’s life possibly and look at their strengths. I think that having that skill is quite useful in the health system. In this system, we need to train persons in order to have them become future leaders who can manage a health system to be of service to all,”

Meanwhile, Telford Layne, a developmental psychologist and now the holder of a certificate in Policy Development and Advocacy for Global Health, noted that the training will assist him in advancing work on the mental health platform.

Telford Layne

He explained, “In the Caribbean, one of the silent pandemics is mental health, and we need to sit with other stakeholders to come up with certain policies so that these persons can be taken care of,”

The capacity-building initiative, funded by USAID is part of an overarching strategy of strengthening the region’s response to HIV/AIDS, as well as maintaining the progress already made in this charge.

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony said the government aims to establish Guyana as a hub for training in the Caribbean, as investing in human resources and building human capacity remains paramount to the PPP/C development agenda.

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony

“The reason why we want so many people trained is because we are expanding the health sector,” he reiterated.

Several hospitals are now under construction in a representation of the government’s charge to expand and strengthen Guyana’s health sector. The minister said in addition to strengthening the country’s human resources, the building of infrastructure for the delivery of quality health services is also critical.

“A lot of work is going to be done and what you will see is a transformation in the next couple of years of the health sector,” he added.

The PAN Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) is a coagulation of government, regional civil society organisations, regional institutions and organisations, bilateral and multilateral agencies, and contributing donor partners, established to accelerate and coordinate a regional response to HIV/AIDS.