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Guyana wants China to send more obstetricians to help reduce maternal mortality

China’s Minister of National Health and Family Planning, Li Bin and Guyana’s Health Minister Dr Bheri Ramsaran sign the five-year Memorandum of Understanding on promoting cooperation in health policy, human resource training and disease control.

Guyana wants China to increase the number of obstetricians in its medical team to help cap the number of maternal deaths and hopefully propel Guyana to achieve that Millenium Development Goal, Health Minister Dr, Bheri Ramsaran said Saturday.

He was speaking at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with visiting China’s Minister of National Health and Family Planning, Li Bin. That agreement will during the next five years promote cooperating in health policy, human resource training and disease control between the two countries.

Ramsaran, in his remarks, used the opportunity to signal that Guyana would ask for a temporary increase in the number of obstetricians in the Chinese Medical Team; the 12th since 1997 is expected shortly. “The Chinese obstetricians have performed well over the decades. This is another area of strength of the Chinese Medical Team that has caught the eye of the Government of Guyana.

“The temporary expansion of the Chinese Medical Team in this specialized area would be most welcomed as Guyana prepares to meet its Millennium Development Goals,” said the Guyanese Health Minister.  “More Chinese obstetricians at this particular time would be a welcomed addition to the Chinese Medical Team.”

With very few maternal deaths recorded so far for 2014, the Guyanese Health Minister is holding out slim hopes of his country achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of reducing such maternal mortality by 75 percent. Latest statistics show that there were 25 maternal deaths in 2013 and 18 in 2013.

The Health Minister also announced that he intended to ask the head of the Chinese Medical Team to allow the doctors to conduct medical outreaches in Mabaruma and Lethem, rather than just serving the publicly-owned hospitals in Georgetown and Linden.

Guyana hopes that its Cuban, Indian and Chinese-trained general medical practitioners would benefit from specialized training from China. Li Bin said the pact signed on Saturday would facilitate the training of more Guyanese medical personnel. “The Chinese government would like to support Guyana to train more human resources in terms of health so that there is a medical team that never left Guyana,” she said.

Her Guyanese counterpart hoped that China would send medical academics to work at the University of Guyana’s Medical School.

The Chinese Minister of National Health and Family Planning is expected to participate in the inauguration of laparoscopy on Sunday that would facilitate surgeries of such as those of the gall bladder and the intestines.

Already, Chinese Ophthalmologists this week performed at least 100 advanced surgeries.

Since 2009, the China Medical Eye Centre has performed more than 5,000 cataract surgeries.