Health Questions Posed by Amerindians in Guyana’s Deep Interior

Raywat Deonandan, Bekkie Vineberg, Rebecca Stulberg, Marya Jaleel, Nicholas Szecket, Dunn Sheila, Mary Ann Hamelin, Margaret Van der Kuur, Sarah Zelcer


Background: The forest-dwelling Amerindian peoples of Guyana are among that nation’s most impoverished, vulnerable and least served. Health promotion messaging has been informed in large part by nation-level health indicators that may not be well targeted to this group. Our study sought to identify local health education needs, and to identify factors preventing proper uptake of health messaging. Methods: As part of medical missions to the interior, we asked patients waiting for care to anonymously submit their health questions in writing. Conventional content analysis was employed to identify prevalent themes in their responses. Findings: Sexual health (63.6%) and nutrition (17.4%) were the most popular themes asked about. Within the former, the science of sexual maturation and reproduction (31.4%) and HIV/AIDS (28.8%) were the most common sub-themes, with the pathophysiology and etiology of HIV/AIDS being the most common sub-theme within the latter. Interpretation: Within Guyana’s Amerindian community, there exists a prevalent curiosity about the basic science of both sexual reproduction and the transmission of sexual disease.

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Global Journal of Health Science   ISSN 1916-9736(Print)   ISSN 1916-9744(Online)

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