Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Johnson, has said that a recently concluded European Union (EU) assessment has concluded that there are major loopholes in three key areas of Dominica’s health sector.
Dr. Johnson made the disclosure during the start of a two day Maternal and Child Health Workshop for over 40 health care providers at the Princess Margaret Hospital on Thursday.
“I should admit that the recently concluded assessment of the two EU consultants revealed significant gaps in three specific areas which are directly related to the health sector,” he said. “These are namely, health policy related to maternal and new born care delivery, our health care delivery system on a whole and our health information system.”
Johnson said that the Ministry of Health is in the process of putting into practice tough measures to reverse one aspect of these loopholes and that is the problem of infant mortality.
“The interventions are aimed particularly at reducing prenatal and neonatal mortality consistent in achieving overall reduction in our infant mortality,” he said. “Three strategic interventions have been proposed to address the gaps identified … these are namely, a focus on the reviewing of our health, policy related to maternal child care delivery, and our human resource policy relating to staff assignment and rotation,” he added.
The Chief Medical Officer said the health information system will be reinforced to play a leading role in “maternal child health data management for monitoring and evaluation purposes.”
“Directly relating to this would be the reinforcement of the maternal-related child health information system through the implementation of prenatal and neonatal deaths surveillance system,” he said.
Among presenters at the workshop Drs. Binta Lmbert, S. Alexander, G. Birchwood and Beryl Irons from PAHO.