He’s the chief of staff at Toronto’s Humber River Regional Hospital, a Kellogg-Schulich EMBA student at York University and now the recipient of the highly prestigious Meritorious Service Medal.
Dr. Narendra Singh, who is working toward reducing the number of infant mortality rates in Guyana, was recently awarded one of Canada’s highest honours, the Meritorious Service Decoration (Civil Division), by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, the Governor General of Canada.
Guyana has one of the Western world’s highest infant mortality rates, but thanks to a program spearheaded by Singh – Guyana Help the Children – those numbers are in decline.
Singh, who moved to Canada from Guyana when he was a teenager, wanted to bring about lasting change that would improve Guyana’s access to basic prenatal care. Instead of volunteering his services as a pediatrician on a short-term basis, he envisioned a sustainable and comprehensive program to improve the state of infant mortality.
“The foundation for any sustainable program has to be education,” said Singh.
In partnership with the local government, he created a residency program at Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) that brought state-of-the-art technology to the country, using a hybrid model blending in-person education with volunteer doctors and a virtual classroom where Singh and other faculty members provide instruction from anywhere in the world.
“Before we started this program, Guyana had only two pediatricians,” said Singh. “To date, we have trained over 10 pediatricians and over 50 nurses, which is a lot for a country of only 750,000 people. Early individuals that we trained are now becoming the educators, so we are close to it becoming a self-sufficient program.”
To date, the infant mortality rate has dropped over 40 per cent at GPHC in Guyana, and has saved the lives of over 150 babies annually. For his contribution to the welfare of Guyanese people, Singh was awarded the Meritorious Service Decoration.
Now completing his Kellogg-Schulich EMBA in Canada’s top ranked executive MBA program, Singh is looking to gain the financial, administrative and managerial skills necessary to take the same model for a high-impact, non-profit campaign to other at-risk countries around the world.