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Cumberland Health Centre Technological Advancements

Location: East Canje Berbice, Region 6

Counterparts: Nerissa Elizabeth Ramnarain

Date: 1/2019

Contributed: Jami Herring – GUY 30

The Cumberland Health Centre was constructed in the 1950s, and at that time only catered to a few surrounding villages, such as Palmyra, No. 2 Village, Sheet Anchor, and Cumberland Village. Since the inception, CHC has grown to accommodate a catchment area of a minimum of 13 total villages, such Palmyra, No.2 Village, Sheet Anchor, Cumberland, Canefield, Fort Ordinance, Adelphi, Betsy Ground, Rose Hall, Reliance, Gangaram, New Forest, and Goed Bananen Land, as well as many additional locations throughout Region 6, depending on the services needed.

Since October 2017, CHC has implemented a Teen Mother’s Support Group (TMSG). Teen pregnancy and repeat teen pregnancy creates a cycle of poverty in Guyana. Each year over 3,000 teen mothers give birth in Guyana (MOPH 2015). The largest segment of Guyana’s population is under the age of 20, and many of these under-20-year-olds are teenage parents. The objective of the TMSG is to create a standard model for antenatal care of the pregnant adolescent(s) that meet the needs of the Guyanese adolescent(s) in accordance to evidence-based practices.

During our TMSG sessions, we have found that visual aids, such as PowerPoint Presentations, have been helpful in keeping the participants engaged during these antenatal care sessions. However, due to CHC encouraging the mothers to bring their spouse/partner/family/friends to the clinic and the overall amount of teen mothers present, many times the group is so large that the single laptop used for these sessions falls short in ways of viewability. This causes many individuals to crowd around a single laptop screen and become uncomfortable, thus losing interest in the sessions.

Additionally, when asked to prepare lessons and/or informative sessions on various subjects for the community (e.g. Canje Secondary School, Child Protective Services, etc.), CHC has been unable to utilize visual aids for larger crowds due to the venues in which CHC attends having little-to-no resources to accommodate PowerPoint presentations; many venues do not own projectors or screens.

Lastly, preparing visual aids by hand for sessions can become timely and costly. The Ministry of Public Health does not always obtain the funds to accommodate ongoing stationery items, causing staff to spend out-of-pocket. Furthermore, PowerPoint presentations hold up well in comparison to paper-poster aids and markers.

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