Guyana to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates with IDB support

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 October 2016, 14:52 by Denis Chabrol

Program seeks to strengthen the country’s healthcare network, benefitting some 140,000 women and 9,000 newborns a year

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)  on Thursday announced that it has approved an US$8 million loan for a program to help reduce maternal, perinatal and neonatal deaths in Guyana. This program seeks to improve the quality of care at 140 health facilities and in 88 communities, benefitting at least 140,000 women and 9,000 newborns per year.

Despite progress achieved during the last decade, the bank said Guyana continues to experience one of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in Latin America and the Caribbean, with a maternal mortality rate estimated at 121 per 1,000 live births and an infant mortality rate at 22 per 1,000 live births. “Given that about 93 percent of deaths in children less than one year of age occurred in the neonatal period, the program will support and improve maternal and child health care with a focus on improving access to quality neonatal health services and providing a better path to and quality of reproductive and maternal health services,” the hemispheric bank said in a statement.

This operation draws from the IDB’s experiences with the Mesoamerican Health Initiative and incorporates lessons learned on evidence-based biomedical and operational interventions. It will closely monitor results to ensure that those interventions can contribute to the success of the program.

The total cost of the project is US$8 million to be financed as follows: US$4 million from the IDB’s ordinary capital resources and US$4 million from the Fund for Special Operations (FSO) of the Bank. The loan from the Bank’s ordinary capital has a six-year grace period and a 30-year term. The FSO funding has a term of 40 years with a 40-year grace period and a fixed annual rate of 0.25 percent.

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.