Spotlight on disability and rehabilitation services – as 15th ‘Rehab week’ launched

DPI, Guyana, Sunday, June 24, 2018

The Ministry of Public Health is channelling efforts towards providing universal coverage for disability and rehabilitation services in Guyana. In this regard, a public awareness campaign has been embarked on for the coming week as the country observes ‘Rehab Week 2018’.

An official launch for the week of activities was held at the Hugo Chavez Rehabilitation Centre at Onverwagt, West Coast Berbice.

At the brief ceremony, attention was called to the ministry’s plans for universal coverage of rehabilitation and disability services and intensified public awareness of the availability of these services.

The Director of the Disability and Rehabilitation Services of the Health Ministry, Dr. Ariane Mangar said this year’s observance emphasises the need to highlight increased efforts towards an improved community-based care throughout the country.

“This year, we chose this theme because we would like to better serve various communities especially our far-flung areas,” she said, adding that “most of all we would definitely want to give patients a higher standard of care thus improving the quality of service we currently offer.”

Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings, who delivered the feature address noted that the ministry through its disability and rehabilitation service continues to work to develop and maintain the profile and coverage of its respective facilities across the length and breadth of Guyana.

Professionals working within the rehab and disability sector were urged by the junior minister to embrace the importance of value-based care. She said despite working in a resource-constrained public health care system, the workers’ concept of value must become a standard component of rehabilitative care in Guyana.

Permanent Secretary of MOPH, Colette Adams highlighted the fact that there is scope for the establishment of an Orthotics and Prosthetics service unit at the Hugo Chavez Rehabilitation Centre.

The building which comes under the management of the Ministry of Social Protection has the requisite space available to facilitate such a unit. The establishment of such a unit will serve as a space for persons in need of this specific service to be accommodated as they seek to enhance the function and lifestyle through rehabilitation. The next step will involve discussions between the two subject ministries to make this a reality.

“I thought it through and brought it before my policymakers. I think we should have a Prosthetic Centre in Region Five… we will now have to think about it, in terms of training and otherwise,” PS Adams noted.

Rehab week is being celebrated from June 24 to 30, 2018 under the theme “Increasing coverage and enhancing quality”.

By: Delicia Haynes.

Images: Leroy Lyttle.