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Khan wants more success in reducing maternal mortality
Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan says while his ministry has achieved some success in reducing the infant mortality rate, the maternal mortality rate leaves a lot to be desired. He was speaking at UWI’s Faculty of Medical Sciences health care quality and delivery conference, titled “Improvement in Health Care Quality and Delivery: Making a Difference,” at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port-of-Spain.
The conference will continue on Saturday at the Learning Resource Centre, UWI, St Augustine. “Our economic well-being is tied towards the UN’s millennium development goals of maternal and child health care and reducing the infant mortality rate,” Khan said. “We have been a bit successful in reducing the infant mortality rate but not as good as we would like. It has gone down. However our maternal mortality rate leaves a lot to be desired, and we’re trying to reduce that to zero.”
He said his ministry had also done a very good job with HIV mother-to-child transmission, which has reached zero, and he said he would like the maternal mortality rate to match that. Speaking to reporters during the break, he said the Scarborough General Hospital was now fully operational and he was increasing the treatment available to include cardiac and MRI services.
Khan said he was also considering introducing neurosurgical services as well as setting up an orthopaedic section. When asked about the spate of alcohol-related road accidents and fatalities, he replied that it was a fact that many road accidents were caused by drivers talking and texting on their cellphones while driving and also taking the wheel after consuming alcohol.
Some of the keynote speakers for the conference included UK National Health Service Employer’s Policy Board chair Sir Andrew Cash, World Medical Tourism and Global Healthcare Congress president Renee-Marie Stephano, senior scientist and UK health scientist of the year 2012 Rachel Cutting and Smart-ISO Ltd UK CEO John Moffatt.
Also present were Prof Samuel Ramsewak, dean of UWI’s Faculty of Medical Sciences, UWI principal Prof Clement Sankat and medical representatives from Europe, US, South Asia and the region.
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