GIS - 15 November, 2013: The Minister of Health and Quality of Life announced the introduction shortly of a National Diabetes Management System, an epidemiological tool which will be useful for medical audit. The system is designed for hospitals and healthcare providers who will be better equipped to follow patients’ control and compliance.
Minister Bundhoo made his statement yesterday at La Cannelle, Domaine Les Pailles, at the opening of a one-day workshop on ‘Management of Type 1 Diabetes’ on the occasion of the World Diabetes Day 2013.
In his address, the Minister pointed out that, according to the International Diabetes Federation Atlas 2012, Mauritius no longer forms part of the top 10 countries with the highest prevalence of diabetes. However, he recalled that diabetes remains very high on the agenda of the government, adding that several other measures will be taken to fight against the disease and its risk factors.
Measures include: the setting up of a National Diabetic Retinopathy Grading Centre at the Diabetes and Vascular Health Centre in Souillac so as to further improve the Retinal Screening Service; a Structured Diabetic Foot Care Service to provide training to foot care officers, podiatrists and orthotists; recruitment of four Community-based diabetologists to be posted in each of the health region; launching of a National Campaign on Prevention of Diabetes; as well as a structured health education programme for the prevention of diabetes.
Diabetes represents a major public threat worldwide and is associated with tremendous human, social and economic impacts.
“Today some 371 million people around the world have diabetes and this number will double by 2030 unless strong prevention and control programmes are put in place and implemented. In Mauritius diabetes prevalence has increased by 60% from the period 1987 to 2009 but worldwide the increase in the prevalence of diabetes has been more than 100% in the same period”, he said.
Government is taking bold and innovative measures to address the problems associated with diabetes. A National Service Framework for Diabetes is being implemented since 2007. The framework has been fundamental in defining the strategies for diabetes prevention and standards of diabetes care in Mauritius. Furthermore, a National Digital Retinal Screening Service is available in all the five health regions as well as in Rodrigues.
The Ministry of Health and Quality of Life is also providing analogue insulin and free glucose meters to all Type 1 diabetes patients. Glycosylated haemoglobin (HBA1C) testing has been introduced to better monitor patients with diabetes. The Diabetes and Vascular Health Centre in Souillac is providing care to patients with diabetes, training for health personnel in diabetes and foot care, empowerment to patients.
A new grade of nursing officers, the Diabetes Specialist Nurse cadre, is already providing services in each of the health regions. Some 60 nursing officers are presently undergoing training at the Mauritius Health Institute to qualify as Diabetes Specialist Nurses while 25 Nursing officers are undergoing training in foot care by the University of Swansea in collaboration with the Mauritius Institute of Health.
With the support of the World Health Organisation, a Health Literacy Framework is being worked out. This Framework will promote the flow of information on health issues to all sections of the population through multisectoral and coordinated efforts with the ultimate goal of ensuring a healthier nation.
World Diabetes Day
This year’s campaign aims to address the growing need for diabetes education and prevention programmes and marks the fifth and final year of the 2009-2013 campaign on “Diabetes education and prevention.” The slogan of the campaign is Diabetes: Protect our Future.
This is a call on all those responsible for diabetes care to understand diabetes and take control. For people with diabetes, this is a message about empowerment through education. For governments, it is a call to implement effective strategies and policies for the prevention and management of diabetes to safeguard the health of their citizens with and at risk of diabetes. For healthcare professionals, it is a call to improve knowledge so that evidence-based recommendations are put into practice. For the general public, it is a call to understand the serious impact of diabetes and know, where possible, how to avoid or delay diabetes and its complications.
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