GIS – 17 November 2014: A total of 59 Diabetes Specialised Nurses (DSN) received their diploma at a ceremony held on Saturday 15 November 2014 at the Engineering Lecture Theatre, Professor Sir Edouard Lim Fat Engineering Tower, University of Mauritius, Réduit. The award ceremony was held in the context of the World Diabetes Day 2014.
Certificates were also awarded to some 20 Nursing Officers who have successfully completed a 16 week online course from the University of Swansea. They will continue to follow courses to be eligible for a Diploma in foot care.
The training for DSN was launched in March 2012 at the Mauritius Institute of Health. The DSN will work primarily with diabetic patients, helping them control, understand and manage their diabetes; and will support physicians to provide the best possible care for patients with diabetes. They will carry out nurse-led clinics and work in collaboration with the multidisciplinary team comprising doctors, dieticians, podiatrists, retinal screeners, and Health Information Education and Communication Officers. DSN will also be entrusted with a higher level of autonomy in caring for patients with diabetes. This new concept of care will bring an additional benefit to the patient and to the health care set-up.
In his address on that occasion the Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Mr Lormus Bundhoo, recalled that the policy of his Ministry is to ensure that training programmes produce nurses who have both the necessary technical skills and compassion. This explains the main reason why the decision to upgrade the nursing education was taken, with additional modules and to award a National Diploma in Nursing instead of a Certificate to Student Nurses after completion of their training, he said.
According to the Minister it is important that Nursing Officers keep abreast of latest development in the medical field. In this respect, the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life is considering expansion of the Continuous Professional Development programme to the Nursing cadre once all the officers complete the National Diploma course.
Speaking about the Diabetes Specialist Nurse cadre, Mr Bundhoo stated that they will bring another concept of nursing care. “They will strengthen and provide a high level of care to patients with diabetes. It is well recognised internationally that there is a requirement for dedicated specialist nurses as an integral part of a multidisciplinary team responsible for diabetes care”, he outlined.
The Minister further pointed out that programmes aimed at early intervention and prevention are of paramount importance for people living with diabetes. In 2013 there were 325 new cases of lower limb amputations, out of which 289 were patients with diabetes (89%). Hence the need to double efforts to bring down the number of amputations due to diabetes and to improve the quality of life of persons living with diabetes, he said. Foot examination, advice on foot care, early detection of foot lesions and proper management of lesions will go a long way to reduce the number of amputations in Mauritius, Mr Bundhoo said.
World Diabetes Day 2014
The World Diabetes Day 2014 marks the first series of actions of a three-year campaign (2014-16) which will focus on “Healthy living and diabetes”. This year's activities will specifically address the topic of healthy eating and its importance both in the prevention of Type 2 diabetes and the effective management of diabetes to avoid complications.
The latest estimates from the International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas indicate that there are 382 million people living with diabetes worldwide. By 2035, 592 million people or one person in ten will have the disease. A further 316 million people are currently at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, with the number expected to increase to almost 500 million within a generation. What makes the pandemic particularly menacing is that throughout much of the world, it remains hidden. Up to half of all people with diabetes globally remain undiagnosed.
According to the Non-Communicable Diseases Survey 2009, the prevalence of diabetes in Mauritius is 23,6% for those aged between 25 to 74 years.
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