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Giving Health To Kids
Who we are

Who we are

Giving Health To Kids (GHTK) was established as a Canadian Charitable Organization in 2012 by Dr. Narendra Singh and his wife Dr. Shirley Sit. Both pediatricians, they were saddened to see the state of neonatal care provided in Guyana. This was not a criticism about healthcare in Guyana but the fact that hospitals, doctors and nurses were overwhelmed with the needs they faced in caring for neonates.

Guyana is the country of Dr. Singh’s birth and although he and his family moved to Canada in 1974, his heart and concern has always remained with Guyana. Thinking about how they could best support the needs identified to them by colleagues in Guyana, they set about establishing Giving Health To Kids (formerly called Guyana Help the Kids).

They realized the best way they could help was to work with those on the ground in Guyana and they were determined to be sensitive and respectful of the people providing the care and services. They started by meeting with leaders in healthcare organizations, including front-line doctors, nurses, hospital administrators and representatives of the Ministry of Health.

Those involved in providing care on the frontlines were excited to be able to outline how they felt GHTK could support them in improving the care and services to neonates.

Initially the need for urgent state-of-the-art equipment to be purchased for the Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) was identified; this then evolved into discussions about the possibility of improving educational programs for the doctors and nurses. From this the Paediatric Residency Program and the Certificate in Neonatal Nursing Program were initiated.

Georgetown Materity

Through Drs. Singh and Sit’s contacts in the medical field, other colleagues became interested in the idea of helping to support a country where they could make a tangible difference. This included physicians and nurses in Canada and the United States who offered to provide their teaching expertise in medicine and nursing. This enabled not only the programs above to be created but other educational programs to be initiated, such as paediatric oncology, hand hygiene and biomedical training.

Linkages were also formed with hospitals and universities in Canada and the US, including McMaster, Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio, University of Toronto, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre in Dallas, and University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago to name a few. These partnerships have continued to evolve and develop and now include York University and the University of Guyana.

While the educational programs were being developed, GHTK looked at how they could address the equipment needs identified. They knew it would be vital to fundraise to enable the equipment to be purchased, and the GHTK Board of Directors set about organizing the “Annual GHTK Gala”. There was enthusiastic support from the community for this event, and each year a listing of the most urgent equipment needed was provided so that supporters could see where the funds were being allocated.

GHTK has a loyal and dedicated group of Supporters and the funds raised through the Annual Gala enabled several of the NICUs in the local hospitals to be upgraded over the years. Also, through special appeals to GHTK Corporate Donors, Also during the Global Covid Pandemic in 2020 - 2021, through special appeals to GHTK Corporate Donors, GHTK was able to source and provide much needed PPE (personal protective equipment) for frontline staff, tablets for children who suddenly had to learn on-line, and food baskets for depressed areas in Georgetown.

The Pandemic also provided an opportunity for GHTK to “take a breath” and see where the best use of resources was needed.This has led to several changes in the focus of GHTK in the past year. All the changes made are done in partnership and collaboration with those working in Guyana – in particular the Ministry of Health, Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation and most importantly the front-line doctors and staff who provide the vital work to the babies and families in Guyana.

GHTK’s involvement has opened Guyana to many opportunities over the years:

⦁ more than 70 nurses have received their Neonatal Nursing Certificate
⦁ 23 Paediatricians have graduated from the Paediatric Residency Program
⦁ the University of Guyana has established a Bachelor’s Degree in Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing
⦁ the Ministry of Health provided funding for equipment to be purchased with GHTK’s expertise to upgrade the NICUs in the Regional Hospitals
⦁ a formal Fellowship Program for Paediatric Residents was established with McMaster University and thus far 6 Residents have completed or started their 2-year Fellowship Program
⦁ GHTK partnered with York University to establish a Master’s Level Health Administrator’s course which recently graduated 20 healthcare professionals from Guyana
⦁ The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada has provided a 3-year grant to enable the Neonatal Network to be established in Guyana – this will provide a “one-number to call” for hospitals when they need to consult on critical neonates
⦁ Global Health Canada has provided a grant of $2.5 million over 5-years to GHTK in partnership with McMaster University to increase the survival of mothers in the hinterland regions of Guyana
At the helm of all this remain Dr. Singh and Dr. Singh and a dedicated and committed Board of Directors who have been in place for many years and who remain committed to providing their expertise and support in collaboration with those in Guyana to improve the lives of babies and their families.

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Giving Health To Kids (GHTK) was established in 2007 and is a registered Canadian Charity with the goal of decreasing the neonatal and infant mortality in developing countries.
Giving Health To Kids (GHTK), 2365 Finch Avenue West, Suite, 203, Toronto, Ontario M9M 2W8

Charity Registration # 805 814 316 RR0001

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