Health workers challenged to coach patients to adopt better lifestyles

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, M.P, is challenging health workers to start ‘coaching’ their patients on how to live healthier lives.

In Guyana, non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular diseases, strokes, high blood pressure and diabetes are prevalent. However, these diseases can be prevented with the appropriate lifestyle changes.  

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony, MP

Minister Anthony, during the recent launch of the ‘Hearts technical package’ at the Eccles Health Centre, East Bank Demerara said, “So, when you come to the health centre, one of the things that we want our doctors and healthcare workers to talk to you about is the things that can help to make the lifestyle changes. So, we want to spend additional time to coach you to make sure that you can make these lifestyle changes because they’re very important.”

A patient at the Eccles Health Centre testing his blood pressure.

While speaking about high blood pressure, Minister Anthony said exercising, reducing salt and alcohol intake, losing weight, and diet modification can regulate blood pressure.

Dr. Anthony while reiterating the role health workers play in educating and helping people to maintain healthy changes, noted that training will be provided to ensure these personnel are able to better communicate with their patients, and assist them to make these necessary changes.

Exercising can help prevent non-communicable diseases.

“One of the things that we’ll be doing is training of our healthcare workers. [We] want to make sure that they understand the new protocols so when people come in, we coach them about lifestyle changes, we work with them to make sure that they embrace these changes, and if we have to give them medication then we have the right types of meds available for them.”

Meanwhile, preventing and controlling diabetes is another priority of the health ministry, since according to estimates from the International Diabetic Federation, approximately 60, 000 people in Guyana are diabetic.

Minister Anthony reiterated government’s commitment to provide better infrastructure, as well as training for healthcare workers so that they can provide quality services to the country’s population.

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