President’s Update – August 2019
Beginning our Program in Antigua
It is with great pleasure that I can report that GHTK’s outreach in Antigua has begun. Caitlin (Cait) Yeager and four of her colleagues kicked off the year-long Nursing Education Program in Antigua on July 17, 2019. Cait, along with her colleagues, Kate McGlumphy from the US, and Chris DeBoer, Saba Tasleem and Jillian Dekker from Canada were in Antigua to initiate the teaching program.
There are twelve nurses in the program – 3 from Maternity, 2 from Paediatrics, 1 from PACU (Post Anaesthetic Care Unit), 1 who is a full-time faculty from the School of Nursing and 6 who are from the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). The program began at the Mount Saint Johns Medical Centre (MSJMC) with a welcome ceremony from the Matron Jacqueline JnoBaptiste.
During the weeks the GHTK Team was present, nurses had lectures on topics such as newborn assessment, pain assessment and management, gestational age assessment, Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) training and neonatal development. All participants will continue to have 1 class day per week on a variety of topics. Students who are currently working in other areas of the hospital will spend at least 12 hours per week providing direct patient care in the NICU. Students who already work in the NICU will work their regularly scheduled hours and also provide guidance to other students in the program.
Cait and her colleagues who were in Antigua asked that we express sincere thanks, on their behalf, to everyone affiliated with this program. They were warmly welcomed by the hospital leadership, the Ministry of Health in Antigua, the Unit Managers – all who have been very receptive and pleased to provide support – as well as the students who were engaged and eager to learn.
Expanding GHTK’s Outreach
As outlined in our May Update, Giving Health To Kids (GHTK) is moving forward to assist other countries to reduce their neonatal mortality rate. Antigua & Barbuda were the first to approach us and we wanted to start our educational programs as soon as the Memorandum of Understanding was signed. We have also provided a number of pieces of equipment for the NICU at Mount Saint Johns Medical Centre, and there will be more as needs are identified.
Our outreach program will not lessen our involvement in Guyana and while it is significant that the neonatal death rate has been reduced by 40% since 2007, we recognize that there is still much work to be done. This coming year will see another 5 physicians in the Paediatric Residency Program and the Neonatal Nursing Diploma will move to a Bachelor’s Degree in Neonatal Nursing at the University of Guyana – thanks to the leadership and commitment of Dr. Emanuel Cummings, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University.
The Board at GHTK has decided that we should take things one step at a time. We have a well developed program in Guyana and have garnered very good relationhips with the Ministry, the Hospitals, the University and the physicians and nurses who provide the care to this vulnerable patient population. The Board has restated its ongoing commitment and support to the program in Guyana.
We are proud to have started our outreach in Antigua & Barbuda and will determine what our next steps are as we move forward.
Board of Directors
In our September Update, we will start to introduce you to our Board of Directors. However, we would also ask that if you are interested in volunteering to be on the Board, please send us an e-mail with your cv to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
9th Annual Gala – Saturday, November 2, 2019
Our theme this year is “Masquerade”. The Gala is the major fund raising endeavour for GHTK and we need your support more than ever in 2019. If you have attended in the past, you know it is a fun evening with good food, great door prizes and always interesting entertainment; if this is your first time attending – we highly recommend it – and want to assure you that all funds raised go towards reducing the infant mortality rate in Guyana – and now also in Antigua.
Individual Tickets are $125.00 and a tax receipt will be issued after the event. A table of 10 is $1,250.
Our goal this year is to raise $100,000 –for those not familiar with our history we like to call ourselves “the little charity that could”. We have enormous heart and our organization is run completely by volunteers – 95% of the funds we raise are used to purchase much needed equipment for the NICUs in Guyana and Antigua, and to support the educational programs for physicians and nurses.
However, we cannot continue to improve things for the babies, their parents or the professionals who look after them without your help. Please take a moment to purchase your tickets for the GHTK Gala now – just e-mail : email@example.com or to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit our updated Website at: www.ghtk.ca
As always, our goal is to provide you, our supporters, with regular updates on our activities and we welcome your feedback and questions always.
Thank you so much for your support. “Every child deserves a tomorrow”
Dr. Narendra Singh, President GHTK
Photos from the Nursing Program in Antigua
Giving Health To Kids (GHTK), 2365 Finch Avenue West, Suite, 203, Toronto, Ontario M9M 2W8
Charity Registration # 805 814 316 RR0001