New health strategy to improve range of services offered – CMO
It was recently announced that Guyana has been lagging behind in terms of the health services it provides and the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Shamdeo Persaud, has assured that the Public Health Ministry is seeking to address this issue in its new health strategy for the years 2020 to 2030.
This was revealed by the CMO during a recent interview with this newspaper.
According to him, the health strategy will focus on implementing a range of new services that are currently unavailable to the public.
“We are in the process of developing a new strategy for 2020 to 2030 and in that strategy, we are looking at really trying to improve the range of service that is offered in the public health sector and in collaboration with the Private Sector,” he explained.
The CMO did not divulge many details on the soon to be ready strategy but would only say that the Ministry is currently in the process of assessing the current Health Vision, which expires in 2020.
“We are aligning our new strategy to our National Development Strategy or the Green Development Strategy along with the other global health strategies, both PAHO and WHO have strategies that extend worldwide under the Sustainable Development Goal we are particularly focused on goal number three and we have some key areas there that we need to address.”
As was pointed out in a recent interview, the CMO said he hopes to have issues such as the alarming maternal mortality rate addressed.
Health Vision 2020 addresses the continuation of efforts to curtail communicable diseases in Guyana. Strategic actions include the strengthening of vector control services through the establishment of a unified framework and strategic information system for vector-borne diseases.
Health Vision 2020 was drafted in the early 2000s to guide national health plans for the years 2013 to 2020. The seven-year plan aimed to “improve the timeliness, accessibility and adequacy of the supply of essential, quality, safe, cost-effective, scientifically sound drugs and medical products to health facilities in all the regions” and “improve service delivery through the establishment of Integrated Health Service Delivery Networks as the foundation for renewing primary healthcare and ensuring the continuity of quality, integrated and accessible care aligned to the needs of the population” among others.
Notably, Health Vision 2020 had targeted the reduction of modifiable risk factors and premature mortality from chronic diseases.
Under the previous Administration, Guyana had recorded steady progress over a ten-year period in improving health outcomes for Guyanese. Specifically, Guyanese were living longer, children had increased chances of survival, the epidemic of HIV/AIDs, malaria and tuberculosis was being brought under control through an aggressive national response and, overall, the country was on its way to meeting most of its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) health targets for 2015.
Guyana’s national health agenda since 2008 was guided by the National Health Sector Strategy (NHSS) 2008 – 2012.
The National Health Sector Strategy 2008 – 2012 targeted the vision – “Guyanese citizens be among the healthiest in the Caribbean and South America”.