Training for health workers continues in the hinterland ─ workers trained specifically in area of maternal and child health care

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, July 24, 2018

At least twenty persons in Region One are among the next batch of Community Health Workers (CHWs) to be trained specifically in the area of maternal and child health care. The training of CHWs forms part of the Ministry of Public Health’s efforts to ensure the further reduction of maternal mortality rates emanating from indigenous communities.

This training exercise will be conducted in Regions Seven and Eight in 2019.

At the recently concluded 12th annual National Toshaos Council’s conference, Director of Primary Health Care, Dr. Ertenesia Hamilton engaged with toshaos and other village leaders of indigenous communities.

Dr. Hamilton emphasised that the training programme is a key measure adopted by the Public Health Ministry as it is anticipated to be a more effective measure. Individuals are identified, from each village in a particular region to participate and benefit from the training.

“We are asking you to select who you want to be trained. Whoever the toshao and the village selects, those are the persons we will train,” the Primary Healthcare director reiterated.

Addressing cultural practices upheld in some indigenous communities, Dr, Hamilton said, “I know it may be a cultural practice for some women to deliver themselves, for their neighbours to deliver them, for their husbands to deliver them but the challenge we have is even though some of those babies come out very well there are the few which does not make it and that few are causing mortality numbers to rise.”

It is preferred that persons from respective villages be trained since it eliminates the need for women to travel far distances to attend regular clinics and meet with health care providers as they go through their pregnancy.

While the Ministry of Public Health seeks to train new CHWs in this regard, existing CHWs already at work will benefit from an upgrade to midwifery training. “We are not stopping at the training of Community Health Workers only. Community Health Workers that have been employed for a long time in the region will now have the opportunity to become midwives,” Dr. Hamilton added.

In April of this year, twenty CHWs from Region Nine were trained and sent to work in their respective villages. The training was conducted within the region, eliminating the need for trainees to travel to Georgetown.

These programmes are being funded by a GYD$1.7 Billion (US $8Million) Inter-American Development Bank loan, which aims to ensure equity in maternal and child health care services across the ten administrative regions.

By: Delicia Haynes

Images: KennyAnn Bacchus