Effective system must be developed to improve surveillance of HEARTS Initiative – Min Anthony

A three-day trainer of trainers workshop on the HEARTS Technical Package commenced at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown on Wednesday, where health professionals will work collectively to develop an effective surveillance and reporting system for the HEARTS programme and its overall improvement.

The HEARTS initiative, which was launched a few years ago, assists primary healthcare professionals in preventing and detecting cardiovascular diseases and hypertension at an early stage.

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony in his address to participants underscored the need for proper surveillance, reporting and data collection, as over 100 health centres are implementing the programme.

“I want the team from the Chronic Disease Unit to work with you to develop that stronger surveillance system, because I would like to see every month the statistics of how this is being implemented and what is happening with our patients,” the minister stated.

Minister Anthony also urged participants and facilitators to come up with a detailed plan to host training sessions in the various regions, based on the outcome of the programme.

“I think it would be very productive if, in one of the sessions, we get the teams of people who are here from the different regions to sit together and come up with a plan on how they are going to do training and how they are going to extend the implementation,” he underlined.
Additionally, Dr Anthony urged healthcare professionals to implement 117 interventions that have been identified by the health ministry when treating persons living with non-communicable diseases. Also, they were urged to acquaint themselves with the new diabetic guidelines.

“We can integrate the two things (HEARTS and diabetes guidelines) and make sure that it is delivered properly to our patients…That’s the other thing I want us to make sure that we can focus on and get this done,” he added.

The ministry has partnered with the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO), to facilitate the training sessions, as a refresher for doctors and nurses from the ten administrative regions.

Meanwhile, the Advisor of the Health Systems and Services at PAHO, Guyana Country Office, Daniel Albrecht said the refresher sessions will explore and identify solutions to address challenges in the various regions.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Narine Singh also delivered brief remarks, and among those present were the Director of Non-communicable Diseases, Dr Latchmine Lall; Focal Point of High Blood Pressure and the HEARTS Technical Package, Dr Michael Pereira; Coordinator of the Chronic Disease Unit, Dr Daniele DrePaul; and Representatives from the Mount Sinai Health Systems, and the MoH Chronic Disease Unit.

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