Guyana failed to reduce maternal death rate

With Guyana’s last mortality rate standing at 229 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), Dr Shamdeo Persaud, has said Guyana has failed to meet a number of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which include reducing the alarming rates of maternal deaths.
Dr Persaud made the disclosure during an interview with Guyana Times on Friday. According to the CMO, not only did Guyana fail to reduce these numbers but also the numbers in relation to infant and child mortality.
“There were even some goals in the MDGs that we didn’t quite meet, including reducing maternal deaths, infant and child mortality and some of the other services that we have to provide so we are working on putting that together,” the CMO told this publication.

It was however explained that Guyana has been coordinating the compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals, as the Public Health Ministry has placed its focus on goal three, which is related to ‘Good health and well-being’.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals.
Research shows there are multiple immediate, underlying and structural causes of maternal and child deaths. A few of these include disease and infection, poor nutritional status and congenital factors, or problems relating to birth.
Between the period June 2017 and June 2018, 119 neonatal deaths were recorded at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC).
In 2016, the then Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton boasted that about 24 infant deaths were recorded for the first half of the year, stating that the rate was at its lowest in the last two years.
In 2015, that rate stood at 23.1 per 1000, while child mortality rate under five years of age, which was supposed to be 16, stuck out at 24.2 for 2014.
According to a multi-indicator cluster survey carried out in Guyana, Dr Norton stated, the probability of a baby dying within the first month of life was 22.9 per 1000 live births and between birth and its first birthday, 31.8.
He opined that most infant deaths recorded were caused by infections or the negligence of medical practitioners.
A United Nations report had disclosed that Guyana was among five countries in the Region with the highest maternal mortality rate, and among six nations where the incidence had amplified notably between 1990 and 2013.