Ministry of Public Health, Guyana, October 17, 2016
Representatives from the Islamic Bank met with Hon. Dr. George Norton, Minister of Public Health on Friday to discuss funding of the new National Psychosocial Rehabilitation Complex (NPRC) project which is slated for 2017. This project is expected to cost approximately US Twenty Million Dollars ($20, 000.000) The Complexes will be erected in Regions two and six along with an upgrade to the Ministry’s Mental Health Unit to provide emergency clinical services to persons needing diagnose, care and treatment.
Also Engaged in the high level meeting were Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings and other technical officers from the Ministry and Mr. Sayed Aqa – Vice President Cooperation and Country Programming Complex and his technical team.
The institution will be designed to reduce the role of the National Psychiatric Hospital in the mental health system in Guyana. This will be aligned with the Pan American Health Organisation/ World Health Organisation recommendations to improve quality services and standards in mental health through the provision of better and specialized services in psychosocial rehabilitation, forensic psychiatry, drug abuse rehabilitation and psycho geriatric care. This involves a careful reintegration of patients into family and society, reducing psychiatric beds and transforming the functions of the former institution.
The National Psychosocial Rehabilitation Complex is expected to provide diagnosis, management and treatment to persons with suicidal behaviour and attempts, affected disorders, general anxiety disorder, panic attacks, post- traumatic disorder, psychosis and violent behaviour, acute onset psychosis and chronic psychosis. The institution is also expected to provide care and treatment to persons suffering from psychosis due to medical condition (HIV, Non Communicable Diseases), substance abuse, hazardous drug reactions and interactions, personality disorders, epilepsy and Dementias (Alzheimer).
Regional Health Facilities are expected to be equipped and better able to manage mental health patients in various regions who are required to be inpatients for a period of time.
The Minister of Public Health has commenced consultations with the PAHO who has thus far opted to give full technical support especially in the area of training to improve mental health services.
Statistics have showed that there are 10 to 15% if Guyanese with mental disorder at any one time. This means that 78, 000 to 114, 500 Guyanese are suffering from a mental disorder and require some level of mental health care service. Suicide is a leading cause of death among Guyanese hence the Ministry of Public Health will continue to work closely with its technical partners to eliminate this epidemic.