Staff being trained to man regional COVID-ICUs

Twenty-nine ventilators will soon be arriving in the country, with some destined for regional hospitals. These facilities will now have Intensive Care Units specifically catered to the treatment of severely ill persons who tested positive for COVID-19 and are experiencing respiratory distress.

Once these units are in place at each of the regional hospitals, the burden which is usually placed on the Georgetown Public Hospital will be eliminated, allowing the facility to function effectively in its tertiary, specialised capacity.

With this service coming on stream, the necessary competent staff will be needed to operate the machines and care for the patients who are admitted.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony on Monday said, “if we put the ventilators there, we want to ensure that – through the Georgetown hospital – we train the doctors who will be working in the ICU areas. That training is for them to understand how to do proper ventilation, when to put patients on this ventilator and how to use that piece of equipment.”

Added to this, the minister noted the importance of training for support staff to the ICUs including nurses and other key healthcare personnel as well.  He said Community Health Workers are also being trained in Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control.

“This is extremely important because if we are trying to prevent the spread of the infection within our institutions and also to protect our health care workers from getting infected, these are going to be continuous and ongoing training [programmes].”

The training models being utilised to improve Guyana’s response to COVID-19 at the healthcare level was designed and approved by the World Health Organisation; however,the Ministry of Health has extracted key components of the training, adopting it to fit the Guyana context which will render it more relatable and effective.

The training programmes are available online.