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Reducing the burden of disease: Communicable and not Communicable

GUY.01 Reducing the burden of disease: communicabl

IMAI Training, 5-9 November 2012

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The Ministry of Health (MOH) in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) conducted an IMAI workshop from 5 to9 November, 2012 at the Ocean View Hotel, Liliendaal as part of the scale up activity of the public health initiative which has had its genesis and adoption in Guyana since 2006 and which is a part of the broader effort to strengthen the integration of the HIV and chronic diseases services at primary health care level.

The opening session of the workshop was chaired by Dr. Rosalinda Hernandez Munoz, PAHO/WHO FCH/HIV Advisor whereas the welcome was done by Dr. Karen Cummings, the IMAI Coordinator, from the Ministry of Health (MOH) who not only applauded and thanked the financiers, the moral supporters and stakeholders like PAHO, MOH and Presidential Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), but appreciated the efforts made by the Regional Health Officers to put systems in place to facilitate this special IMAI training.    She welcomed the participants to a highly innovative, culturally relevant and mutually beneficial workshop.

Dr Beverley Barnett, the PAHO/WHO Representative in Guyana delivered the key message to the participants. She reiterated the need to decentralize and scale up HIV services and strengthen the Primary Health Care System (PHC). She posited that comprehensive and quality care should be given to Persons Living with HIV (PLWH) and efforts should be made to continue facilitating universal access to care, treatment and prevention of HIV by integrating clinical management of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis into the regular clinic schedules of the existing health services.

She encouraged the participants to embraced the integrated approach to chronic care as they strive to prepare, to inform and motivate  the health team, community partners and patients and their families about self-monitoring of key symptoms and treatments in addition to when to return for follow –up according to agreed plan. She challenged the healthcare workers to make full use of the training which entailed hard work so that they can apply knowledge learned for to recognize and provide the basic management of Opportunistic Infections and HIV related conditions.

The objectives of the workshop were:-
 1) To train  Health Workers from Region 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 on the five Modules of IMAI strategy which were available for IMAI Training and implementation namely: - a) Acute Care, for adolescents and adults; b) Chronic HIV Care, with antiretroviral therapy (ART); c) General Principles of Good Chronic Care; d) Palliative Care, addressing symptom management and end of life care and e) TB/HIV Co- management;
 2) To prepare the care givers to provide Basic Anti retroviral treatment including Clinical Care and Acute Care at the primary care level and
 3) To guide the health professionals on communication skills in their management of patients who are HIV positive.

These objectives were carried out through lecture, breakout sessions, role playing, multimedia materials and question and answer sessions by facilitators from the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), the National Tuberculosis Program (NTP) and the Davis’ Memorial Hospital.    The current Treatment guideline for Management of HIV-Infected and HIV-Exposed Adults and Children was presented by the National AIDS Program Secretariat (NAPS).

Topics varied from the Introduction to HIV/AIDS and opportunistic Infections, HIV and ARV Drugs, Adherence and Resistance, Prophylaxis to Communication and the Co- management of Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV.

The participants were happy for the training and promised to seek every opportunity to remain on the cutting edge of TB/HIV Co-Management. Their expectations were surpassed and they pledged as a next step to share the information with colleagues, to use the given tools, and to implement and integrate acquired best practices in day to day operations at their health locations in the various Regions.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 December 2012 11:47

Enhance SARI Surveillance Training 29-30 September 2012

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Enhance SARI Surveillance Training

The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) conducted a two-day training on Enhance SARI Surveillance at Ocean View International Hotel from 29-30 September 2012.
The objectives of the training were:
1.    To train key stakeholder from GPHC in sample taking and SARI orientation.
2.    To strengthen Basic surveillance and Response Capacity to Influenza at GPHC
3.    To integrate the epidemiological and Laboratory surveillance of influenza into the System.

The training was facilitated by Dr. Dr Zoila Fletcher Payton, Consultant, Health Surveillance & Disease Prevention & Control, PAHO/WHO, Dr. Kamela Bemaul, Registrar, Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation and Mr. Javin Chandrabose, Head of Surveillance, Research and Emergency Preparedness Department, NPHRL.

Thirty-three (34) health workers from the GPHC participated in the training which included a combination of lecture and practical sessions such as sample demonstration and update from the NPHRL on SARI Surveillance, importance of hospital surveillance, overview of Novel Coronavirus and definition of ILI, SARI and confirmed cases of influenza.

The main output from the training was:
•    Weekly evaluation of samples sent from the GPHC Laboratory to the NPHRL, and feedback from the NPHRL to the GPHC doctors and nurses from the various wards that had sent the samples.

The training was well received by the participants. Some indicated that it was the first time they were exposed to training on SARI and Pandemic Influenza. Follow-up trainings will be conducted with participants of GPHC and private hospitals.



Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 January 2013 09:04

Guyana Observes World Mental Health Day, 10 October 2012

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World Mental Health Day 2012 Message From Dr. Beverley Barnett, PAHO/WHO Guyana Country Office Representative

Every year, World Mental Health Day, an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) since 1992, is commemorated on 10 October.  World Mental Health Day is a global campaign inviting everyone –from global leaders to the public in all countries - to focus on a mental health challenge with global impact. It provides an opportunity for everyone to recognize the challenges that individuals, families, and communities experience due to mental disorders; discuss these disorders more openly; and support investments in prevention and treatment services.

The theme for World Mental Health Day 2012 is “Depression: A Global Crisis” and it aims to encourage governments and civil society around the world to address depression as a widespread illness that affects individuals, their families, their peers, and their communities, and to recognize that it is a treatable condition.  

Depression is a common mental disorder that presents with sad mood, loss of interest or pleasure, decreased energy, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, and poor concentration. Moreover, depression often comes with symptoms of anxiety. These problems can become chronic or recurrent and lead to substantial impairments in an individual’s ability to take care of his or her everyday responsibilities. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Almost 1 million lives are lost yearly due to suicide, which translates to 3,000 suicide deaths every day. For every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives (WHO, 2012). In Guyana, suicide prevention is a priority mental and public health issue.

Depression is a significant contributor to the global burden of disease and affects people in all communities across the world. Today, depression is estimated to affect 350 million people worldwide, and the World Mental Health Survey conducted in 17 countries found that on average about 1 in 20 people reported having an episode of depression in the previous year. Depressive disorders often start at a young age and the demand for curbing depression and other mental disorders is on the rise globally.  The global burden of depression poses a substantial public health challenge, both at the social and economic levels as well as the clinical level, and there are several well- defined, evidence- based strategies that can effectively reduce this burden.

Economic analyses have indicated that treating depression in primary care is feasible, affordable, and cost-effective. Many prevention programs implemented across the lifespan have provided evidence on the reduction of elevated levels of depressive symptoms. Effective community approaches to prevent depression focus on several actions surrounding the strengthening of protective factors and the reduction of risk factors. Examples of strengthening protective actors include school-based programs targeting children and adolescents, as well as exercise programs for the elderly. Interventions for parents of children with behavioral problems include provision of information and training in behavioral child-rearing strategies, which may reduce parental depressive symptoms and improve outcomes in the children, regarding their cognitive, problem-solving and social skills. Suicide prevention involves not only prevention and effective treatment of depression, but also restriction in access to means for suicide.

On this World Mental Health Day 2012, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) emphasizes the importance of good mental health to prevent and alleviate pain and depression throughout the life-course in order to save lives, promote and protect health, and foster well-being. Regular physical activity, a healthy diet, relaxation techniques, healthy sleeping habits, and avoidance of stress, drug use, and the harmful use of alcohol, are all important in the maintenance of mental health.

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (WHO, 1948). Let us not neglect our mental health; let us educate ourselves about depression and other mental disorders, take measures to maintain our mental health, and support those who are suffering from mental disorders.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 October 2012 09:56

Guyana's modes of transmission study experience July 2012

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 An agreement was reached by the Ministry
of Health (MOH) and partners in Guyana that the
MOT exercise would begin with the establishment
of a technical working group (TWG) of data
experts (including individuals who actually had
hands-on experience working on previous surveillance
study data collection activities and
could respond to key questions posed during the
This TWG was responsible for conducting
the initial inventory of available data for this
study and included representatives from organisations
such as the MOH, National AIDS Programme
(NAP), Pan-American Health Organisation
(PAHO), Joint United Nations Programme
on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), United States Agency
for International Development (USAID), Centre
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and
MEASURE Evaluation.

To read more please see PDF document below.

icon What do we know? (613.84 kB)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 October 2012 10:03


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The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) participated in a Fitness walk activity held by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat in collaboration with the Minister’s Secretariat, Ministry of Health and other stakeholders.  This activity was conducted in commemoration of Caribbean Wellness Day which was celebrated on 8 September 2012.

The walk commenced from the CARICOM Secretariat and ended in the National Park    where brief remarks were made by the Honourable Bheri Ramsarran, Minister of Health representatives from CARICOM, PAHO/WHO and the US Embassy.  The theme of the day’s activity was "Love that body: building the foundation for healthy lifestyles".

Eng Adrianus Vlugman, Senior Advisor, Environmental Health and Sustainability, PAHO/WHO, made brief remarks on the topic ‘healthy choices’.  In his remarks, reference was made to the fact that more than 36 million deaths worldwide are caused by NCDs and 80 percent of the population in low and middle-income countries being affected.  He further highlighted that the major causes of these diseases are smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, poor diet and substance abuse, which are considered key risk factors.

Eng Vlugman highlighted that young people’s lifestyle choices are made early in life and in their early to mid-teens, while still at school.  He stressed to the youths that health is not difficult it is very easy, once you adopt healthy lifestyle, including:

  1. Be physically active: walk, climb the stairs at school or office, exercise, dance, have fun and keep moving!
  2. Eat healthy: Eat grains, vegetables and fruits, take that salt shaker from the table to reduce salt intake, promote breast feeding.
  3. Limit alcohol use! Too much alcohol is devastating to your health and ability to study and work.  Alcohol causes many traffic accidents and shortens once life significantly!
  4. Don’t Smoke:  Smoking is one of the worst vices when it comes to health causing many cancers, early aging and untimely death!
  5. Check your health: blood pressure, Cholesterol, women: get a Pap smear and men+50 check your prostate”.

In his closing remarks, he outlined that PAHO/WHO collaborates with policy and decision makers to create healthy environments and public spaces to facilitate healthy living making it easier for individuals to exercise healthier choices.

The Caribbean Wellness Week activity ended with the conduct of physical aerobics. All participants were encouraged to do the exercises.  The physical activity segment was included to emphasize the importance of exercise as a contributory factor to good health for all and ultimately, a healthy body.  


Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:54
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