Ministry of Health reviews manual on management of hypertension and diabetes in Dominica

Over fifty health care professionals gathered at the Princess Margaret Hospital conference room to review a manual on the Management of Hypertension and Diabetes. The health care professionals were apprised on the contents of the manual; they were to identify gaps; make recommendations and give consensus on the contents.

The development of the manual is collaboration between the Ministry of Health and the Ross University School of Medicine and was developed in consultation with a team of experienced and committed health professionals.

In a brief overview, Coordinator for Health Promotion and Focal Point for Chronic Non Communicable Diseases (CNCDs), Helen Royer, said,”The combined manual is designed as a reference not only for health professionals working in the hospital and community setting but also for health professionals who take care of diabetic/hypertensive patients in other institutions”

She also emphasized that the aim of the manual is to provide current and accurate information on Management of Diabetes and Hypertension and to guide Health Professionals in the treatment and care of specific problems. The document is expected to provide the users with relevant, evidence based information on latest trends and guidelines on the management of these conditions.

Dominica’s Chief Medical, Dr. David Johnson stated that Chronic Non Communicable Diseases- CNCDs are the leading cause of illness and death in Dominica and accounts for the greatest impact on government’s expenditure for drugs and supplies. He said the two diseases Hypertension and Diabetes are the main reasons for visits to doctors and family nurse practitioners in clinics throughout Dominica.

The Chief Medical Officer said that the development of the manual to address Diabetes and Hypertension will be governed by the mission of the Ministry of Health which is to promote the well-being of all citizens of Dominica through the provision of preventive, curative, promotive and rehabilitative health care, compatible with acceptable standards of human dignity at a cost that is affordable and sustainable.
He declared, however, given the increasing cost to manage life style diseases, proper nutrition and physical exercise must also form critical components of the manual.

Professor Gerald Grell, Dean of Clinical and Community Affairs at Ross University School of Medicine provided an update on hypertension management.

He confirmed that the definition for hypertension has been redefined. Health providers can no longer refer to a reading of 120/80-139/89 mmHg as normal, but as prehypertensive.

The current clinical definition of Systemic Hypertension is influenced by the New USA JNC 7 Classification for Adults Aged 18 Years & Above and reads as follows
Normal: < 120/80 mm Hg
Prehypertension: 120/80-139/89 mmHg
Stage 1 :140/90-159/99 mmHg
Stage 2 : 160/100 or Greater

The University Professor emphasized that the new clinical system should be used in the medical field and included in the hypertension   manual and other clinical books. This he said is critical because patients should be alerted to the onset of pre-hypertension

A situation analysis of Diabetes and Hypertension in Dominica was presented by Sarah Carsley, a Canadian Epidemiologist Intern attached to the Ministry of Health.

The Manual will be launched by the end of the month.

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1 Comment

  1. Gary
    March 11, 2011

    It puzzles me when I hear a number of health care Professionals getting together to review a manual to manage hypertension and diabetes. I’m not against such a gathering or meeting,it tells me the authorities are paying attention and wants to do something, that’s great. But isn’t that what they have been doing for years managing the disease, and to no avail these two diseases are still there and getting out of control even to the point of an epidemic. Is it not time these Professionals stop and questions their methods in combating such diseases and move away from managing the disease which has always been their central focus and instead look to ways of preventing it, or even lowering it;s prevalence that is where the focus should be. Now, bear in mind, there is a great difference between the two methods, but the management approach always seems to be the preference taken by the so called experts, these are the people we trust when it comes to health matters.What has happened to the age old saying “Prevention is better than cure” Oh no, management is their approach, and one of their main tools in the management practice calls for the issuing of Medication, which by the way is another topic by it self.

    Sometimes i question whether these Health care Professionals are really concern about “Health” in the true sense as to what is means, which i have come to the conclusion that they are more concerned about managing the disease, not preventing it, as the conference clearly states the purpose was to create this manual for the management of the disease. I think a meeting of this magnitude should focus on a manual for prevention of such disease.

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