Project Lead(s): Narendra Singh
One third of child deaths in Guyana result from respiratory distress or bacterial infection in the first few weeks of life. Although infant mortality rates have improved in Guyana, the numbers today correspond with those in the U.S. and Canada in the early 1970s, before the extensive availability of neonatal intensive care units. Slightly under half of all babies in Guyana are born in the nation’s largest city and capital, at Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). GPHC has a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) but mortality remains high, due to problems of insufficient education, limited experience and minimal equipment. With the Ministry of Health of Guyana as a partner, Guyana Help the Kids (GHTK) is receiving a $350,000 Grand Challenges Canada grant to augment $250,000 from its own resources for equipment, education, and support to physicians and staff, to improve the survival rate of high-risk neonates in Guyana. The project will lift and sustain the level of neonatal intensive care at GPHC, and will develop a national neonatal network and transportation system. Neonatal-related infrastructure will expand, and education provided to physicians and nurses throughout Guyana – in particular those at the five network hospitals, which account for more than 80 per cent of all deliveries in the nation.
“We intend to significantly decrease neonatal mortality by empowering Guyanese healthcare providers through education and technology, which will ensure sustainability,” says Dr. Narendra Singh, founder of Guyana Help the Kids.