Here’s Why This Matters:
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 necessary quality health care.
At a global level, diabetes creates a health crisis that is silently cutting 415 million lives short, three quarters (3/4) of them in low and middle income countries like the Dominican Republic.
Projects like this one funded by the World Diabetes Foundation help local health systems respond more effectively to this global epidemic.
As a result of our work thus far in partnership with the Ministry of Public Health and PSI, we have seen great results:
- We have trained 60 medical doctors on diabetes prevention, diagnosis and care
- The first training manual for Dominican Community Health Workers on diabetes prevention was completed
- 30 Community Health Workers have been trained using the new manual, with 30 more to be trained in July 2016
- Trained Community Health Workers have successfully carried out risk factor detection in their communities, using a tool developed by the project, and are referring patients when appropriate (1,378 people assessed for risk factors so far)
- Training for 30 nurses on diabetes is planned for July 2016
- Three hospital labs were provided with machines to test Hemoglobin AIC and training for lab technicians from those three hospitals on the use of the new machines was completed
- Successful World Diabetes Day 2015 activities carried out in the city of Puerto Plata involving more than 200 people including 6 local schools
- New educational materials focused on diabetes prevention and awareness have been created collaboratively between PSI, HHI and the Ministry of Public Health (three informational pamphlets focused on prevention are completed and two in process)
- Successful bi-monthly supportive supervision of 12 primary care centers and three provincial hospitals being carried out in collaboration with the Provincial level Ministry of Public Health has demonstrated an overall improvement of the quality of care
- Increased successful collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health at the Provincial, Regional and National levels resulting in HHI beinginvited to be a member of the new national level Commission on Chronic Diseases (HHI is one of only two NGOs asked to become members of this national committee)
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.