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 five 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 administration 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)”.
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The Neonatal Network was established with the core objective to strengthen regional sites to advance Paediatric and Neonatal Care and by extension further reduce referrals to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). The Network was officially launched in 2013 with the addition of the Linden, Amsterdam, West Demerara, Suddie and Bartica Hospitals with GPHC serving as the Centre for Excellence.
Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation
There are over 7000 deliveries in Georgetown annually and the majority of these are done at GPHC. In view of this GPHC was identified as the core of the Neonatal Network. Standards of Neonatal/Paediatric Care that are piloted and implemented at this level are paralleled at each site as part of the Neonatal Network. The GPHC Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) was commissioned on March 16, 2012.
The Unit was originally outfitted with incubators, patient monitors, infusion pumps, infant warmers and bassinets, a significant improvement from the wooden ones previously used. Since then, the Unit has moved to a Level 3 NICU with the introduction of CPAP in 2012 and ventilator services in June 2013.
More than twenty-five (25) NICU Nurses have been trained to provide this service to this site.
The Linden Hospital complex is one of the five (5) referral hospitals participating within the Neonatal Network. Linden Hospital cares for approximately 580 deliveries annually. The Neonatal Unit which prior to GHTK’s intervention was only comprised of one functioning incubator and two phototherapy units, provided care of many of the sick babies while the very ill are transferred to GHPC.
In May 2013, the Linden Hospital Complex’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was commissioned by GHTK President, Dr. Narendra Singh and the former Minister of Health, Dr. BheriRamsaran. The Unit was refurbished and equipped with Air Shield Vickers Incubators (4), Infusion Pumps (2), Patient Monitors (4), Phototherapy Unit (4), one (1) Infant Warmer and a Transport Incubator.
To-date twelve (12) NICU Nurses have been trained to provide service to this site.
New Amsterdam Regional Hospital
The New Amsterdam Regional Hospital Neonatal Unit was commissioned in May 2013. Hospital officials at the Opening Ceremony expressed their heartfelt appreciation for the donations and the efforts made by GHTK to make this a reality. New Amsterdam see approximately 2084 deliveries annually and is one of the highest referral sites to GPHC.
Initial visits to New Amsterdam by GHTK personnel assist in identifying a suitable area for the eventual location of the Neonatal Unit. Construction of the site began in April 2014 with the installation of medical air, oxygen and suction and outfitted with Air Shield Vickers Incubators (4), Infusion Pumps (2), Patient Monitors (4), One Infant Warmer and a Transport Incubator.
To-date seven (7) NICU Nurses have been trained to provide services to this site.
West Demerara Regional Hospital
The West Demerara Regional Hospital has approximately 1047 deliveries annually. As the second highest referral hospital to GPHC, it did not have an NICU. All sick babies were referred to GPHC’s NICU for care.
On August 6, 2014, the West Demerara Regional Hospital’s NICU was ceremonially commissioned by GHTK President, Dr. Narendra Singh and the former Minister of Health, Dr.BheriRamsaran. The NICU commenced services in February 2016 after advancements by Minister George Norton.
The area selected was refurbished and outfitted with Air Shield Incubators (4), Infusion Pumps (2), Patient Monitors (3), Phototherapy Units (4), One Infant Warmer and a Transport Incubator.
To-date five (5) NICU Nurses have been trained to provide services to this site.
Suddie Public Hospital
The Suddie Public Hospital sees approximately 889 deliveries annually, and for very sick babies’ referrals to the Georgetown Public Hospital are often-times unsuccessful because of availability of Incubators in the NICU. The commissioning ceremony for Suddie Public Hospital was held on August 8, 2014 by officials of the Ministry of Health, GHTK, Local Government and Suddie Public Hospital.
Donated equipment included Air Shield Incubators (4), Infusion Pumps (2), Patient Monitors (2), One Infant Warmer, Phototherapy Units (4) and a Transport Incubator.
To-date four (4) NICU Nurses have been trained to provide service to this site.
Bartica District Hospital
Bartica District Hospital was ceremonially commissioned in May 2016 by His Excellency, President David Grange, Minister George Norton and GHTK President, Dr. Narendra Singh. Donated equipment included Incubators (3), Phototherapy Units (4), a portable Suction Machine, Patient Monitor and Infant Warmer.
To-date one (1) NICU Nurse has been trained to provide service to this site.
The work of GHTK has expanded over the years and due to the commitment and dedication of the Board of Directors, and working in collaboration with Ministry and Hospital Officials in Guyana. We have been fortunate to commission 6 NICUs to look after the most vulnerable of our population – the babies and to nurture their growth with their families. GHTK is committed to continuing to work with Guyana, Antigua and, eventually, other countries in the Caribbean who have reached out to GHTK for assistance. We are proud to let you know that the neonatal mortality rate in Guyana has been reduced by 40% since the partnership of GHTK with officials in Guyana.
Thank you for your support of “Giving Health To Kids” (GHTK)