Public Health Ministry tackles NCDs

first_imgIn light of deaths caused by Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), The Public Health Ministry has intensified efforts to reduce the number of deaths caused by these illnesses annually.Based on statistics, NCDs account for 70 per cent of all deaths in Guyana and is the number one cause of premature deaths (before the age of 70 years).The Ministry said in a statement that Guyana’s main NCDs – cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory disease – account for the highest burden on mortality and morbidity.It contended that these diseases are totally preventable by the simple modification of four risk factors: harmful tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol.The Ministry’s Chronic Disease Unit in its efforts to combat NCDs will be conducting a STEP-wise approach population based survey from July to October, 2016, to determine chronic disease risk factors and surveillance in Guyana.“The listing process is scheduled to commence on Thursday, July 14 and will conclude on Monday, July 18, 2016,” the Ministry said, adding “for many years, Guyana has been utilising estimated statistics to account for the population at risk of developing NCDs and for those who are already living with these diseases. This approach will now be changed.”The release added that upon the completion of the STEPS survey, statistics will be acquired and Guyana will now have baseline figures which will allow health officials to closely monitor the population, which will facilitate the development and implementation of appropriate interventions to treat and prevent chronic non-communicable diseases.The survey will also give the Public Health Ministry a better chance to be able to properly forecast and procure the right type of medications and in its sufficient quantities, hence preventing drug shortages in the country.The STEPS survey is a voluntary survey and all participants will be notified of their results at the end of the assessment, the Ministry assured.A total of 3456 households will be randomly chosen to participate in the STEPS survey. One person (within the household) between the ages of 18 to 69 years will be asked to participate in an interview.The participants will be required to respond to basic questions pertaining to demographics, habits and lifestyle practices as it relates to the risk factors of NCDs – have their weight; height and blood pressure checked and recorded by the officer conducting the survey; and give a small blood sample to be tested for blood sugar, cholesterol, sickle cell and thalassemia, which are two common blood disorders found in Guyana.The Public Health Ministry will be collaborating with the Bureau of Statistics in executing the STEPS survey. The Bureau will be carrying out the listing process, which entails trained personnel visiting communities to map out the layout of houses, after which the households will be randomly selected.The Ministry is pleading with communities to support the initiative.last_img read more