Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence on Monday signed Guyana’s third Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) with Pan American Health Organisation /World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) Director, Dr Carissa Etienne.
The CCS reflects a medium-term vision of PAHO/WHO and defines a strategic framework for cooperation with Guyana.
PAHO/WHO, through the implementation of this strategy, will provide technical
cooperation with Guyana to address five priorities in the health sector. These priorities are the strengthening of health systems for universal health; achieving health and wellbeing through the life course; the promotion of safe, resilient and healthy environments; reduction of the burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and the reduction of morbidity and mortality due to Communicable Diseases, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.
This strategy highlights areas of focus that require special attention as Guyana moves towards achieving its Health Vision 2020. There have been significant strides in the health sector over the years with PAHO/WHO’s continued support and commitment.
Dr Etienne said that the CCS was “related to our (PAHO/WHO) strategic plan; our strategic plan for PAHO 2014- 2019 which guides the technical cooperation of the Organisation. (It is) a strategic plan that is based in the sustainable development agenda and that has at its core equity, the fact that we want to leave no one behind. That, therefore, prioritises vulnerable populations and marginalised populations. It also must be responsive to your 2020 vision. It must also interact and be responsive to what are this Administration’s priorities, so this is a strategy that is embedded in many other processes, but fortunately in health the priorities are the priorities.”
Dr Etienne added, “This document is going to be very important when we do the planning – the programme planning every two years – because the Ministry of (Public) Health and your officials are intimately involved in what we call the biennial work-plan where we decide with you what are the priorities that the work is going to entail and that is the work that is guided by the Country Cooperation Strategy.”
PAHO/WHO Country Representative, Dr William Adu-Krow also regarded the CCS as a blueprint for PAHO/WHO which would help the Organisation to better collaborate with the Ministry to meet Health Vision 2020 goals.
The strategy will be governed by a four-year period, giving Guyana an adequate opportunity to access support in achieving all goals set for the health sector.
Minister Lawrence said, “This pact that you have just witnessed being ratified here will put the health sector and Guyana on a firmer footing to address the social, economic and environmental determinants of health.”