Women's Issues In Guyana


Significant measures to get maternal health care delivery back on track

Posted in Health Issues,Politics by wiig on January 15, 2011

(Originally published in Guyana’s Guyana Chronicle on 15 January 2011)

The setbacks experienced by the health sector in the area of maternal health care last year reflect the sector’s “biggest disappointment” in the last decade, according to Health Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy. Ramsammy, in an interview with the Guyana Chronicle, said 2011 will see significant measures being taken to ensure that Guyana get back on track in delivering quality maternal health care and, by extension, meeting the Millennium Development Goal of improving maternal health care.

The Health Minister said these measures will include:
* Going back to basics, systems which proved successful in the past;
* Introducing eight  new doctors at the maternity ward of the Georgetown Public Hospital who will advance their expertise, working with seasoned health workers, as well as contributing to bettering the quality of care with their new skills;
* Allocating a theatre dedicated to maternal surgeries at the hospital;
* Introducing a post graduate programme in obstetrics at the University of Guyana; and
* Increasing awareness, expressly among health workers, to ensure that maternal cases are attended to with an increased sense of urgency.

“We have had almost 10 years of reducing maternal deaths and at the start of 2010 we were doing well…we recognise the need for improvement and all efforts will be directed to ensuring that we get back on track,” Ramsammy said. (more…)

Maternal and child death reports to be submitted to Cabinet sub-committee

Posted in Health Issues,Politics by wiig on January 12, 2011

(Originally published in Guyana’s Kaieteur News on 12 January 2011)

Although all the details of forensic reports are not for the consumption of the general public, it is important that certain details are made known. At least this is according to Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy.

He revealed that the public should always be apprised when a forensic report is written, despite the fact that such reports are not meant for everybody.

He asserted that if care and caution are not taken in this regard the way reports are written could be deliberately altered.

“We have got to be careful about that because investigators could begin to change what they write if what they write begins to be widely distributed,” the Minister noted.

The Minister’s remarks were forthcoming as he responded to questions as to whether reports on maternity death should be made available to persons outside of the health sector. (more…)

Project to reduce maternal deaths at risk of collapsing

Posted in Health Issues by wiig on January 9, 2011

(Originally published in Guyana’s Kaieteur News on 09 January 2011)

– Former Medical Council Chairman quits after conflict with GPHC officials

By Michael Jordan

A project to reduce maternity deaths at the Georgetown Public Hospital has been dealt a major setback after a physician who was playing a major role quit abruptly. Kaieteur News confirmed yesterday that former Medical Council Chairman, Dr. Galton Roberts, left the project on Tuesday after GPHC officials failed to implement major changes that were suggested by some private physicians to improve the Maternity Department.

One of the main recommendations was that the GPHC’s operation theatre be ready to handle maternal emergencies around the clock. However, this has not been done. The unavailability of the theatre on a 24-hour basis had endangered the lives of three high-risk maternal patients as recently as last week.

“On Monday night we had a patient who was scheduled for a Caesarian section, but never had it because there was no theatre time (for maternity cases),” an official said. Instead, the woman had a vaginal delivery, which caused her uterus to rupture. She has since undergone surgery. (more…)

Survey of incomplete abortions make stunning findings

Posted in Health Issues by wiig on January 8, 2011

(Originally published in Guyana’s Kaieteur News on 08 January 2011)

According to a research done by officials of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation medical complications resulting from incomplete abortions are most likely to affect single women and those of Amerindian descent.

The research stated that of 135 patients analyzed, 18.5 per cent encountered post abortion complications. Of those, 8.8 percent received blood transfusion and 7.7 percent developed post- abortal infection; while, 2.2 had both.

Fortunately, none of the complications proved detrimental.  Post abortal complications, and more specifically, need for blood transfusion was said to have been most common among single women.
The research further stated that, women who were highly educated had a lower level of complication as opposed to those who had only a primary level education.

According to officials from the GPHC, the research was carried out with the aim of determining the most common outcomes of patients with incomplete abortion and to ascertain the factors contributing to blood transfusions among patients.

A prospective study was conducted on all women who were admitted to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation with incomplete abortions during the period of August 31, 2009 to October 31, 2009.

Data regarding the demographical and clinical characteristics of each patient was collected by interviews and medical charts.

Patient dies at Georgetown hospital after left unattended for hours

Posted in Health Issues by wiig on May 4, 2008
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Stabroek News – May 4, 2008

Pandemonium broke out at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) just before dark yesterday when a patient who had been deemed an emergency case and rushed there from the Leonora Cottage Hospital earlier in the day passed away, after she allegedly did not receive medical attention from the staff on duty.

Dead is 28-year-old Basmattie Balkarran, a mother of three children, of Ruby Backdam, Parika, East Bank Essequibo. Relatives and many others at the hospital loudly voiced their disapproval with the service at the institution and claimed that the woman had been diagnosed at Leonora hospital as being in a critical condition and in need of a higher level of treatment than it could provide.

Balkarran’s sisters and brothers wailed loudly at the hospital. They said their sister had been rushed to Georgetown and arrived at the GPH at 10 am, but had not been attended to until they started complaining and pleading with the nurses to take her into the emergency room some time after 4 pm. The woman died around 6 last evening.   (more…)

Repeat pregnancy in HIV+ women worrying – UG students

Posted in Activism,Education,Health Issues by wiig on May 2, 2008
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Kaieteur News – May 2, 2008

A group of University of Guyana students has expressed concern over the trend of HIV-infected women having repeat pregnancies.

Under the guidance of Lecturer Monica Miller, six social workers, all of them students, conducted a seminar at the University of Guyana (UG) Turkeyen Campus to address the issue.

The interactive session was held in the Cheddi Bharrat Jagan (CBJ) Lecture Hall and attracted an audience of mainly women of child-bearing age.

The students, Marlon Agrippa, Shaundell Shipley, Romel Richmond, Melissa Phillips, Charmine Walters and Natasha Dundas, made several recommendations to tackle the problem.

Shaundell Shipley, who works in the healthcare sector, pointed out that with support from Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), women with HIV feel encouraged to lead normal lives. Shipley said she met with several mothers at a treatment site and discovered that they do not give thought to repeat pregnancies.   (more…)

Bajan Breakthrough – 25 years of legal abortions

Posted in Health Issues,Legislation by wiig on April 29, 2008
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Stabroek News – April 29, 2008
(Reprinted from T&T Review – March 3, 2008 )
By Sanka Price

As a politician there are some issues that no matter what decision you make, you are certain to anger a significant segment of the population.

One such issue is the legalisation of abortion.

You’re damned if you support it, and you damn others to suffering if you don’t.

Abortion is an issue that has strong religious, medical, and social arguments for and against it. And each side thinks they are correct.

Those who favour the right of a woman to decide if she should have an abortion are “pro-choice”. They see their goal as the empowerment of women, and the need to stop the death, disability, disfigurement and debilitating conditions scores of women endure from botched, ‘back street’ abortions.

Equally strong views are presented by those who maintain that once there is conception the emphasis must be on preserving the life of the foetus. They argue that although a woman has a right over her own body, she has no medical or legal right over the foetus because it is a separate individual with its own DNA, blood supply, and maybe, even a different blood type. (more…)

Mother fails in attempted suicide after giving birth

Posted in Health Issues by wiig on April 26, 2008
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– fell unconscious to ground after jumping through three-storey high window at Georgetown Public Hospital

Guyana Chronicle – April 26, 2008

A WOMAN, believed to be suffering from post-natal depression, yesterday failed in an attempted suicide after jumping through a window in the three-storey high Maternity Ward at Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH).

Barbara Nurse, of Kuru Kururu, along the Soesdyke/Linden Highway, had given birth on Thursday and was conversing with other patients on the third floor when she suddenly made the leap.

Fortunately, however, she fell on a shed before hitting the ground and only injured an ankle.

Her suicidal bid having been thwarted, it was reported that the 20-year-old had been speaking about taking her life earlier in the day.

The report said the mother wanted to kill her baby, too, but the child was previously taken into the custody by doctors.

But, as soon as the doctors left the room in which they all were, the woman made the effort to kill herself. (Telesha Persaud)

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