Partnering With The World Diabetes Foundation To Improve The Response To Diabetes

World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day 2015

In November 2014, HHI entered into a two-year joint partnership grant with the World Diabetes Foundation, Population Services International (PSI) and the Ministry of Public Health.

We are helping to strengthen the local health care system’s response to diabetes by improving access to diabetes care and providing training for health professionals on diabetes prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Here’s why this matters:
  • Non-communicable diseases, like diabetes and hypertension, are causing 70% of deaths in the Dominican Republic, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In the past ten years, diabetes prevalence has doubled in the Dominican Republic.
  • In 1999 only 5.3% of the population in the Dominican Republic had diabetes, and now the World Health Organization estimates that 10.6% of the population suffers from diabetes. This is over 2% higher than the global average, setting off alarm bells, and the number will only continue to rise if action is not taken.
  • Often, diabetes goes undetected until it is too late. The International Diabetes Federation estimates that 50% of diabetes cases are undiagnosed. This is often due to poverty and lack of access to quality health care.
  • At a global level, diabetes creates a health crisis that is silently cutting 415 million lives short, three-quarters of whom live in low – and middle – income countries like the Dominican Republic.

HHI and Ministry of Public Health staff jointly monitor the laboratory at Hospital Imbert

Our work in partnership with the Ministry of Public Health and PSI has yielded promising results:
  • 60 primary care doctors and 30 nurses received specialized training on diabetes prevention, diagnosis and care.
  • The first diabetes prevention manual geared to Community Health Workers was completed and 60 Community Health Workers have now been trained.
  • Newly trained Community Health Workers have so far assessed 1,378 people in their communities for diabetes risk factors, and are referring patients to primary health care centers or specialists when needed.
  • Three hospital labs were provided with equipment to test hemoglobin A1c levels, along with applied training for lab technicians.
  • Our bi-monthly capacity-building visits to the 12 primary health care centers and 3 hospitals we are partnering with have demonstrated a 13% improvement on quality of care measures.
  • More than 200 people from Puerto Plata participated in World Diabetes Day 2015 outreach and awareness events.
HHI is excited to be at the forefront of such significant change and progress at the local and national level in the continuing pursuit of improved health care.
Working in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health means that this progress will remain a part of the national health care system, well beyond when the project is over.
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