Guyana celebrates Universal Health Day 2019

13 Dec 2019
Guyana’s celebration of Universal Health Day on 12 December 2019

“Aloysius, a Community Health Work (CHW) arrives at the health post on his ATV, where he meets his colleagues setting up the health post for the day’s clinic. Patients are already having their vitals checked by the competently trained staff. One CHW is attending to Sandra, whose blood sugar is extremely high. Aloysius immediately springs into action and discusses the situation with the Senior Health Professional and together they develop an approach to address Sandra’s health issue.”

This scenario was shared by the Minister of Public Health, The Honourable  Volda Lawrence, at Guyana’s celebration of Universal Health Day on 12 December 2019, where the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) presented on the achievements towards Universal Health in Guyana. Also in attendance were the PAHO/WHO Representative, Dr. William Adu-Krow, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Karen Boyle, Directors from the MoPH, representatives from the Nursing Association, PAHO/WHO Country Office staff members and other special invitees.

Dr. William Adu-Krow, in his opening remarks, highlighted the Regional Compact on Primary Health Care for Universal Health: PHC 30-30-30, which was launched in Mexico City, on 11 April 2019. The presentation of the Compact took place following the launch of the report of the High-level Commission “Universal Health in the XXI Century: 40 years of Alma-Ata.” The goals of the compact are to reduce 30% barriers to access to health and allocate at least 30% of public expenditure to the first level of care by 2030.

The Hon. Volda Lawrence, in her feature remarks reiterated the country’s commitment to the Compact 30.30.30. The Minister called for tailored plans for the Hinterland regions to ensure equitable access for our indigenous populations. She also stated that the ministry is working assiduously to “the realization of equitable, comprehensive and inclusive health care at the first level of care”.

Dr. Boyle presented on the MoPH’s Experience towards Compact 30.30.30 PHC for Universal Health. She highlighted the steady strides made by the Ministry thus far on the road to Universal Health. Additionally, the DCMO emphasized the ten recommendations of the PHC 30.30.30 along with immediate next steps for each recommendation to help attain the country’s goal of achieving universal health. This opened the avenue to have greater discussions among senior health professionals, who were able to add to the achievements and share additional recommendations.

Guyana will continue to strive to improve Primary Health, by strengthening the Integrated Health Service Delivery Network across the nation.