The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID)
Breakthrough ACTION project, designed to assist the Ministry of Public
Health (MoPH) reduce malaria transmission is advancing.
The project was implemented in 2017 and works along with the Johns
Hopkins University to develop materials to create social and
behavioural change in the mining communities to ensure proper health
practices. It is a collaboration between the ministry, Pan-American
Health Organisation (PAHO), Global Fund, and the United States
Government and concludes in September 2019.
At an insight and validation workshop on Thursday, at Cara Lodge,
Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings said
there is a resuscitated drive to eliminate the disease.
“Of the 21 malaria-endemic countries in the region of the Americas,
Guyana is one of 18 which has committed to eliminating this disease by
developing sustainably robust policies and strategies which are
tailored to the needs of the country as well as the identified
communities with vulnerable population. Such as those with miners and
loggers who are engaged in activities of economic benefits mostly in
Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine,” Minister Cummings explained.
She further explained that the ministry’s National Malaria Programme
is currently implementing innovative interventions which target the
delivery of services at the community level. These include capacity
building of miners and loggers in testing and treating themselves for
malaria and the surveillance for emerging artemisinin resistance in
the Guyana shield.
“It is important that we do an assessment to understand the gaps in
these components of the individual or patient that will influent the
behaviour and subsequently use this information to guide the
development of strategies that will target identified issues… It is
important to know that the limited pool of antimalarials available to
treat patients must be properly managed by the healthcare provider and
patient,” the Public Health Minister underlined.
Meanwhile, United States Ambassador Perry Holloway lauded Guyana for
its success in fighting malaria between 2000 to 2015. “With a 58
percent reduction in cases from 2000 to 2015, Guyana has made
excellent progress in reducing malaria. This partnership with all
stakeholders has shown great progress but we can’t stop.”
Ambassador Holloway noted the US government’s commitment to improve
the prevention and control of malaria.
During the workshop, stakeholders will review and refine the insights
gathered through formative research being conducted by Breakthrough
ACTION and MoPH, which will ultimately inform the co-creation of
solutions to improve the uptake and adherence to malaria testing and