The Ministry of Public Health is currently eyeing the introduction of a Master’s Degree in Speech Therapy at the University of Guyana (UG). This is according to Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence, who revealed that the programme is currently in the discussion phase between the two entities.
“We are currently in talks with the University of Guyana to have them start a Master’s in a speech therapy programme, which will be run with the aid and guidance of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association,” Minister Lawrence revealed.
The Minister made the announcement on Sunday during a prayer breakfast service at the launch of ‘Rehab Week 2019’ at the Umana Yana. The observance will be characterised by a week of activities which will embrace the theme “Rebuilding lives each day with better awareness, action and accessibility.”
According to Minister Lawrence, the programme will be two-fold; she pointed out that those persons upon completion of their Masters “will then be able to lend support to the University of Guyana in the training of the undergraduate batch of SLT [Speech and Language Therapy] students, thus providing a sustainable way to maintain speech and language services in the health system.”
It was further disclosed that the Minister is also in discussion with officials from the United Kingdom to have staff from the Ministry attend specialised institutions in the UK for six-month periods. The training will allow those persons to expand their knowledge while at the same time familiarising themselves with special techniques and equipment available.
Minister Lawrence noted that rehabilitation is on an upward trajectory in Guyana and assured that the government will continue to place emphasis on the development of department with more budgetary allocations.
“We know that this investment in rehabilitation will increase human capacity by allowing people with a health condition to achieve and maintain optimal functioning. We want to ensure that we can reach children, our youths, and adults in all ten regions.”
Additionally, it was highlighted that there is a need to strengthen the capacity of the health sector by focusing on delivery and services. That is, delivering quality, effective, and responsive disability and rehabilitation services.
It is the expectation, the Minister said, that persons with disabilities will no longer be hidden from the public but will be given the opportunity to benefit from the services offered by the Ministry and have a good life.