Saturday 20 July, 2019

12,000 patients seen as NCRHA keeps ‘Walking The Talk’

The NCRHA medical team at work during one of their screening sessions in La Horquetta

The NCRHA medical team at work during one of their screening sessions in La Horquetta

The NCRHA’s Walk the Talk (WTT) Initiative has screened more than 12,000 persons as the Authority steps up its outreach to identify patients who face a high risk of developing diabetes and non-communicable diseases.

General Manager, Primary Care Services, Dr. Abdul Hamid said the programme is an aggressive outreach, health promotion and screening Initiative geared towards diagnosing, educating and empowering members of the public about the importance of preventing and managing Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

He said the cooperation from the various religious institutions and civic groups, have been phenomenal, as the Walk the Talk team were scheduled to serve on a weekly basis since its inception in December 2016.

“Just about 100 institutions inclusive of churches, mosques and mandirs have partnered with the NCRHA over the past two years, giving the Authority access to groups that may not normally visit healthcare institutions. Numerous patients were found to be unaware of their high-risk status, reinforcing the need for this programme as an intervening and strategic approach to health management within our community. Where necessary, these patients have been absorbed into our primary care facilities where they received further treatment to prevent their need for secondary care,” Hamid added.

In supporting the project, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said the Ministry has recognised the need to build awareness of NCDs as many citizens must to change their lifestyle to reduce their risk of developing cancer, diabetes and hypertension.

He said over the years complications due to diabetes has risen in prominence from being the 7th major cause of premature death in Trinidad and Tobago to the 3rd cause of premature death. This jump of four places in the ranking is a reason for concern for the Ministry, especially since many persons can implement some minor life changes that will make a significant difference in their quality of life and reduce their risk of developing diabetes.

The Minister was also concerned about the increase in the rate of obesity in children, the number of children suffering with diabetes as well as the number of pregnant women suffering from gestational diabetes. He praised the work of the Authority, since the WTT Project provided a platform to more effectively target and screen these high risk groups within our communities.

“The objectives of the Walk the Talk programme are being achieved, as it is now recognised as an effective vehicle that facilitates the flow of resources, information and services to empower our communities to become healthier,” said the NCRHA’s Chief Executive Officer, Davlin Thomas.

Thomas said the networks and relationships that have been built through the services, have expanded the reach of hospitals into communities to provide solutions, before non-communicable chronic diseases escalate into health problems that will require secondary and tertiary care.

Chairman of the North Central Regional Health Authority, Steve De Las expressed his gratitude to all the community-based organisations who partnered with the Authority since the commencement of the programme. He said their collaboration will go a long way towards the common goal of building healthier communities.

De Las also recognised the commitment and support from the NCRHA staff who contributed to the Walk-The-Talk project. He said they were making a significant impact in the lives of citizens who were most in need of care.

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