Public Health Strengthening in Guyana

HomeAbout the ProjectProgress and ResourcesPHSGP in the PressAbout GuyanaTB in Guyana
HIV/AIDS in GuyanaSTI in GuyanaGuyana’s New HISCommunity Health in GuyanaContact Us


Community Health Development and Care in Guyana


A nurse demonstrating a Home-Based

Care training module


Community Health Development and Care:

The health of a population is not only based on the strength of its health care professionals and diagnostic capabilities – to a great extent, the health of a population is shaped by factors that exist outside of its health care system.  Community health and its development require strong support networks and supportive social environments, education and a literate population, good working conditions, a stable physical environment and a strong culture, amongst other things.  Together, these “Social Determinants of Health” are what shape the health of a population (for more on the Social Determinants of Health, see Raphael, 2003).  The approach of the PHSGP to strengthening community health care employs a model of home-based care which draws heavily on this idea.  


Why the Home-Based Care model?

Home-based care (HBC) is a response to the needs of the chronically ill, who may not be able to leave their homes due to illness.  The HBC philosophy is based on several pillars: to begin with, individuals and families are responsible for their own health, and the role of the home-based care provider is to support services being provided by the family or volunteers.  Dignity and human life are valued, which means individuals have rights that must be respected, and that people must be able to live and meet death with comfort and dignity.  The home environment, which is familiar to individuals, enhances the ability of the chronically ill to cope with their illnesses.  Access to comprehensive, compassionate family and community-centred health care is a right possessed by all, and home-based care is essential for regional community development and an integrated public health system.  Home-based care assures quality research, education and program evaluation, along with accountability in its program delivery, and, lastly, volunteers are invaluable, as they extend and complement the services offered by health care professionals.  These are the pillars upon which the PHSGP has built its home-based care strategy.

Home-Based Care in Guyana:

Family caregivers are the first line of defense in Guyana’s HBC program, which also includes trained health care professionals and volunteers who assist the terminally ill with their daily activities.  The program is supportive of the independence and well-being of cared-for individuals, who can remain in and interact with their communities.  The program provides medical services when these are required, and acts as a preventative program, meaning that it can be a substitute for hospital care, which is relatively expensive.   


The PHSGP hopes to develop and establish gender-sensitive home and palliative care in Guyana, and to establish a home and community-based training program for the care and support of HIV/AIDS and TB clients in Linden, Georgetown, and New Amsterdam.  The Project should also produce trainers capable of producing a cadre of complementary health care workers trained to care for a severely under-serviced segment of the Guyanese population. To this end, the following has been accomplished to date:  

        Development and dissemination of Nursing Guidelines for Care in the Home and Community for Home and Palliative Care

        57 individuals from three Project regions have been trained as trainers who have, so far, taught more than 174 sessions on caring for HIV/AIDS and TB patients with a total of over 2600 participants

        Seven training modules have been finalized: Adult Education, Infection Control, TB, HIV/AIDS, Home-Based Care, Gender, and Palliative Care; all of the modules are being used in training sessions

        The project has been instrumental in assisting the MOH/NAPS with the design and implementation of the GFATM-funded HBC Strategy, and has trained the HBC coordinator, supervisors, and over 120 volunteers

        HBC trainers have taken part in a session on the differential impacts of HIV/AIDS on men and women, which should lead to more informed and effective counseling interventions

        The Project continues to assist in the development of educational materials and manuals, including the development and dissemination of a Supervisors’ Manual, and the training of HBC volunteers 

        The Project supported the 1st National HBC Conference in Guyana, February 15th and 16th, 2007. Health professionals, Nursing Supervisors, local NGOS and volunteers participated in a 3-day National HBC strengthening retreat.


Some Useful Links:

The VON’s Website

WHO’s Observatory on Health Care for Chronic Conditions


1 Nicholas Street, Suite 1105
Ottawa, Ontario,
Canada K1N 7B7
Phone: (613) 241-5785 Fax: (613) 241-3845 Email:

Copyright © 2000-2005
Canadian Society for
International Health
All rights reserved

(Screen Optimized: 800 x 600)