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Feb 13, 2018

Guyana to Emulate Belize’s Health Information System

There is some good news coming out of the Ministry of Health that is having an impact in the region. A team from Guyana is currently in the country studying the Belize Health Information System, which is a database of health statistics. The system has been working up to par and the Pan American Health Organization wants to replicate the system in the Caribbean. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The importance of keeping record of persons accessing healthcare in Belize is not lost on the Ministry of Health.  That department of government has in fact established what is known as the Belize Health Information System, an electronic archive of all visits made to public medical facilities across the country.  That model also serves as a guiding light for similar structures to be put in place elsewhere in the region, including Guyana.


Paul Edwards

Dr. Paul Edwards, PAHO/WHO, Guyana

“This is a very historical and very important study to our, for the Ministry of Public Health, Guyana.  The minister, the Honorable Raldo Lawrence requested support from the PWR in Guyana, Dr. William Adkro, who then requested support from the PAHO Belize country office and we got concurrence from the Ministry of Health here in Belize for concurrence for this activity to become a reality.  Guyana is in a very critical stage of development for information system for health, therefore we wanted to learn some best practices.  What was done right, what was not done right.  Some of the challenges and specifically key areas, for example, legislation, standard operational procedures, human resource, financing and budgeting and definitely sustainability was a key factor.”


According to Dr. Ethan Gough, Head of the Epidemiology Unit at the Ministry of Health, the information gathered is an important source for data on health statistics.


Ethan Gough

Ethan Gough, Head of Epidemiology Unit, MOH

“Belize has had several years of experience developing an electronic medical records system that we call the Belize Health Information System.  It‘s a system that‘s fully networked countrywide.  It does not include the majority of private facilities but it includes all the public health facilities, health centers, health posts, hospitals, et cetera and we had quite a lot of experience with rolling that out, operationalizing it, managing it and using it as a source of data for health statistics.  So the purpose of the Guyanese mission to Belize which is being facilitated by the Pan American Health Organization is to share best practices and lessons learnt in implementing the Belize Health Information System in Belize because they are in the process of developing their own health information system in Guyana.”


Guyana which had established a similar records system is currently in the process of redoing and updating the features of a similar database, using the B.H.I.S. as a model.


Christiber Squires

Christiber Squires, Ministry of Public Health, Guyana

“In the context of Guyana having in excess of forty applications, forty different applications and trying to venture into the integration of several of those into the application referred to in Guyana as the Guyana Health Information System, as similar to the Belize Health Information System.  So yes, there is some learning evident there and more particular would be being able to be on the ground and interact with the resource personnel instead of the many advances being made before, either from reading or third party or third hand information.  So yes, so far it‘s productive.”


Isani Cayetano

“How beneficial is this in terms of taking away what you‘ve learned here and applying it into the system that is being put together once again in Guyana?”


Christiber Squires

“Very, very good question and to answer it would be this way, it‘s twofold.  One, it helps us to realize some of our efforts undertaken so far.  It more or less encourages us to build a confidence our strategic approach.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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