NICU services to extend to hinterland regions

Lethem, Bartica, Suddie, Mabaruma to benefit – Dr Anthony

In keeping with the government’s commitment to delivering access to quality health care, the Health Ministry will expand the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) service to regional hospitals in Mabaruma, Region One, Suddie, Region Two, Bartica, Region Seven, and Lethem, Region Nine.

This expansion will help save a number of premature infants and provide quality care to children in the hinterland regions. Premature, also known as preterm birth, is when a baby is born too early usually before 37 weeks. The earlier the baby is born, the higher the risk of death and disability.

Portrait of newborn premature baby sleeping inside incubator

This, Dr Anthony said has been a challenge and monies have already been allocated in the National 2022 Budget to offset the expansion of the NICU services to these regions.

“There is a plan for extending these NICU services, we have already set aside money to purchase the equipment and once the equipment comes in, we are going to put that equipment in the relevant hospitals,” he revealed.

Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony

Training will also be conducted with nurses and doctors to ensure that premature babies are properly cared for.

Many years ago, Guyana did not have NICUs and with the government’s intervention, a NICU was developed at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) with the assistance of Kids First Fund, a Canadian organisation.

“They donated a lot of equipment to the GPHC and they did the training for the staff…both Doctors and Nurses. So, that they can manage these premature babies, because of that over the years, we have now been able to develop a Level Three NICU service at the Georgetown Public Hospital,” Dr Anthony relayed.

The NICU service was further extended to the New Amsterdam, Linden and West Demerara regional hospitals.

The government allocated $73. 2 billion in the 2022 budget in its effort to develop the health sector and deliver quality health care.
Just recently, the sod was turned for a €149M Paediatric and Maternal Hospital at Ogle, East Coast Demerara which will specialise in maternal, neonatal and paediatric care.

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