Guyana Help The Kids (GHTK) was established in 2007 and is a registered Canadian Charity with the goal of decreasing the neonatal and infant mortality in developing countries. During the visits of Dr. Narendra Singh and his wife Dr. Shirley Sit to Guyana, they were saddened to learn of the percentage of neonatal deaths occurring at the Hospitals in Guyana. In addition, they saw that the NICUs (Neonatal Intensive Care Units) were poorly equipped and lacked life-saving equipment that is standard in NICUs in Canada.
Dr. Singh and Dr. Sit made it their goal to help the country of Dr. Singh’s birth improve on the care and treatment of babies and children by creating the Vision of GHTK “Every Child deserves a Tomorrow”. This could only be done by working with the various government agencies in Guyana, together with the hospitals involved in providing the health care to babies and their families.
GHTK has been fortunate to recruit a dedicated and compassionate Board of Directors who share the vision put forth by Dr. Singh and Dr. Sit. The major focus of GHTK has been to establish a comprehensive education program for local physicians, nurses and other allied healthcare professionals. In addition, a major goal of the Board has been to purchase specialized equipment, in order to elevate the level of neonatal care.
The initial work of GHTK was focused at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) with the opening of a new neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), the establishment of an innovative paediatric residency program and neonatal nursing program, which has now expanded to include four other hospitals in Guyana. Further expansion to include an NICU in the remaining two hospitals in Guyana is currently underway. The goal is that by the end of 2019, each hospital in Guyana will have a fully equipped NICU.
The shared vision of GHTK could not have happened without the full support and involvement of the Ministry of Health in Guyana which has been receptive and encouraging of the efforts of GHTK. The Georgetown Public Hospital, as the largest in Guyana, is now recognized as a level 3 NICU, and GHTK has worked in partnership with the hospital administrative and medical community to support the changes required to be certified at this level.
In July 2019, 19 Paediatricians will have successfully completed the Paediatric Residency Program and 70 nurses have received their neonatal certification.
Since the inception of GHTK, infant mortality has been reduced by 40%.
GHTK is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors and more than ninety (90) percent of funds raised are used for educational programs and equipment purchases for GHTK. Administrative overhead costs are less ten (10) percent of funds raised. In 2018, the Board decided to expand their outreach in the Caribbean and the program has been warmly received in Antigua. In view of this expansion, the official name of Guyana Help the Kids has changed to “GHTK (Giving Health To Kids)”.