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Persons with Diabetes to Benefit from Newly Updated Diabetes Guidelines in the OECS

Persons with Diabetes to Benefit from Newly Updated Diabetes Guidelines in the OECS

Friday, November 23, 2018 — Under the World Diabetes Foundation funded project ‘OECS Diabetes Prevention and Care’, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Health Unit is partnering with the Windward Islands Research Foundation (WINDREF), the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) to host a training of trainers’ workshop for the recently updated CARPHA Guidelines on the Management of Diabetes in the Caribbean.

The two-day workshop is being held at the Saint George’s University, Grenada and is targeting persons who are able to train a wide range of both public and private health providers and other policymakers and stakeholders at the Ministry of Health and the national level.

This workshop will enable quality standards for the comprehensive management of diabetes and its complications at the primary care level to be uniformly available across the OECS Member States. The new CARPHA Diabetes quality standards for the region are based on evidence and adapted recommendations, and are grounded in culturally-appropriate care for the health and well-being of persons with diabetes.

Participants at the workshop found the training timely, noting that “the other Caribbean islands represented here…when it comes to diabetes management…will be doing the same thing that Dominica will be doing. So, if my patient goes to Saint Lucia it will be nice to know we will all be singing the same song…”

“I plan to get the guidelines printed and placed in each clinic…so the patient can see as well. We will implement as soon as we get to Antigua,” commented another participant.

In addition to the traditional treatment algorithms, the recently updated CARPHA guidelines for diabetes includes modules on ensuring availability of medication, healthy diet and physical activity and guidance for lay persons caring for persons with diabetes. The OECS Health Unit is also taking the opportunity to partner with PAHO to train the trainers on the guidelines for hypertension (high blood pressure) from the WHO HEARTS initiative. The WHO HEARTS initiative has already been piloted in Barbados with documented success.

Dr. Calum Macpherson, Vice Provost for International Program Development, Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and the Director of Research noted,

“WINDREF is once again pleased to collaborate with our regional partners OECS, CARPHA, WHO/PAHO to support a training program on the newly revised guidelines for diabetes and hypertension management. Standardization of treatment across the region will serve to benefit those who suffer from the significant burden of chronic diseases in the Caribbean region.” 

The training will build in-country capacity among staff and partners of the Ministries of Health of the OECS Member States to return to their countries and to deliver the in-country training to care providers for diabetes and hypertension.  The trainers will also monitor the implementation and use of the new guidelines, initially in selected health centres. This will strengthen ongoing efforts to improve the quality of care for diabetes and hypertension in the public health system.

Source: OECS Media Statement

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