Reduced Health Funding in Guyana Since 2011 Resulted in Higher Infant and Child Deaths and Worsened Adult Health Outcomes

Public investment in health in Guyana declined continuously since 2011, reaching its lowest level in almost two decades. The result was a substantial increase in child deaths and a slowdown in improvement in adult life expectancy. Balancing a budget on healthcare or tying its funding to non-economic outcomes are short-sighted policies with devastating consequences that are paid for with Guyanese lives.

Suicide is a Society-Wide Problem That Needs a Society-Wide Solution: Social Organizations Can Do More

One of the biggest public health and social issues facing Guyanese is the rate of suicide deaths which remains one of the highest in the world. The problem affects all races and ethnicity, however, it is more rampant in communities with a large Indian population. Several economic and social factors are linked to suicide and these are likely to worsen with the current economic slowdown. Religious organizations, charities, and other institutions can take a more active role in providing people with necessary skills, information, and knowledge to overcome suicidal ideation.

Deaths By Suicide Remain a Major Public Health Issue in Guyana – Lawmakers Can Do More to End This Tragedy and Save Lives

Deaths by suicide in Guyana remain among the highest in the world, despite progress in recent years. In 2018, 31 of every 100,000 persons died by suicide. This puts Guyana second for the highest suicide death rate in the world, behind only Sri Lanka, according to data by the World Atlas. The cost of suicide is high, it destroys lives, damage communities, and undermine long-term economic prosperity. Fortunately, lawmakers can do more to prevent this tragedy and save lives.

Mortgaging Guyanese Future and the Economy: An In-Depth Analysis of the 2018 Budget

The government’s budget for the fiscal year 2018 essentially mortgaged the future of Guyanese and the economy. Despite record level spending, the budget cuts funding for the infrastructure and agriculture sectors that are critical for creating employment opportunities, mostly for low-skilled workers. Lawmakers continued to shift billions to shore up the government bureaucracy instead of better aligning spendings with social and economic needs. There are no major changes in policy direction to steer the economy away from its current downward trajectory.

Guyana Flirts with a Public Health Crisis: Immunization Rates Fell Despite Record Funding for Health

Once a poster child for immunization coverage, Guyana is flirting with a public health crisis from common preventable illnesses. In 2016, vaccination rates that protects against polio, tuberculosis, pneumococcal disease and other fatal bacterial infections declined between 3 – 5 percentage point over 2014. The decline in these vaccination rates are not only striking but a surprise given that from 2014 public health expenditures grew by 29% or almost $6 billion, reaching a total of $26.2 billion in 2016. Lawmakers and public health professionals, alike, must take these findings seriously, take immediate actions to investigate the causes, and corrective measures to ensure that every child gets vaccinated on time.

Guyana has one of the Highest Mother and Child Death Rates in Latin America and the Caribbean, Mostly from Preventable Causes

Guyana continues to experience one of the highest mother and child death rates in Latin American and the Caribbean, despite economic growth and larger government spending. Insufficient public investment in the healthcare sector and the resulting poor quality of services and lack of access to needed care leads to many preventable deaths. Fortunately, there are common sense policies the government can adopt to significantly improve access to and the quality of services needed to keep mothers and children alive.

Guyana Ratings on Gender Equality and Social Cohesion Declined, World Bank Data Shows

The experience of countries around the world shows that closing the gender gap and reducing inequality results in better social and economic outcomes, and promotes widespread prosperity. Unfortunately, in Guyana, there is a reversal of progress made in these policy priorities, according to according to recently released data by the World Bank. This is likely a contributing factor to the country’s current social and economic problems.