Tomo Kanda

Tomo Kanda

The Stanford University Chronic Disease Self-Management Program is this week, conducting a regional workshop for chronic disease self-management master trainers, in Dominica.

The workshop, hosted in collaboration with the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the government of Dominica, through the Ministry of Health and Environment, seeks to strengthen, empower and improve sustainability of civil society in relation to the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Dominica.

PAHO NCD Advisor, Tomo Kanda, explained the structure of the program.

“The uniqueness of this program is that adult people themselves, living with multiple chronic conditions— they are not health professionals, but people living with chronic conditions are trained, and become leaders in the self-management of their conditions in the community,” she explained, at the opening ceremony of the workshop, held at the Fort Young Hotel, this morning.

Kanda also announced two slogans, ‘Better Health Begins with Me’, and ‘My Life, My Health, Self-Empowerment’, to add a Caribbean element to the program.

Helen Royer

Helen Royer

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Environment, Helen Royer, stated that it is necessary to take a regional approach to NCDs, as management of such diseases require numerous resources, and “no one country has it all.”

She stressed that people need to start taking responsibility for their health.

“While medical professionals spend a significant amount of time conferring with other professionals, and identifying the best course of treatment for their clients, it is the individual who must self-manage their chronic conditions, since most of the time is not spent with the hospital or healthcare personnel in the health centres, but rather, where they live, work, and worship,” Royer elaborated.

Royer advised that effective self-management, particularly of chronic NCDs, be taken seriously.

Over 400 people with chronic conditions have received training in self-management of their CNCDs, and nearly 100 community leaders have been identified within the Eastern Caribbean.

Representatives from St. Kitts, Barbados, St. Vincent, and Antigua are currently in Dominica to participate in the program.