Health Professionals Urged To Maintain Standards

Story Highlights

  • Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Marion Bullock DuCasse, is urging health professionals at hospitals and facilities islandwide to ensure that the standards established by the Ministry of Health are implemented and maintained.
  • The Chief Medical Officer pointed out that monitoring and evaluations of the health facilities will continue to take place at all levels.
  • The Chief Medical Officer said that in recognition of the threat of NCDs, the Ministry has developed a road map – the National Strategic and Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2018.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Marion Bullock DuCasse, is urging health professionals at hospitals and facilities islandwide to ensure that the standards established by the Ministry of Health are implemented and maintained.

“I also urge you to recognise the importance of supervision by the senior teams at all of our health facilities. This cannot be overemphasised and must be an integral part of our day-to-day operations,” she said.

Dr. Bullock DuCasse was speaking today (November 2) at the annual Dr. Leila Wynter conference, at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, in Kingston.

The Chief Medical Officer pointed out that monitoring and evaluations of the health facilities will continue to take place at all levels.

In the meantime, she said the Ministry will continue to place focus on healthy behaviours and lifestyle by all members of the society, including children, in a bid to reduce the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

She informed that physical inactivity, poor diet, smoking and the consumption of alcohol have been contributing factors to NCDs in the island.

Dr. Bullock DuCasse said the prevalence of non-communicable illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and chronic respiratory disease are the biggest causes of premature mortality worldwide and accounts for 82 per cent of deaths in low and middle- income countries.

She pointed out that in Jamaica’s case, NCDs for the last three decades have emerged as the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. “Non-communicable diseases are causing up to 70 per cent of deaths in Jamaica each year,” she said.

Providing statistics on smoking among children, she said the 2010 Global Youth Tobacco Survey undertaken by the National Council on Drug Abuse indicates that 40.4 per cent of youth, aged 13 to 15, have smoked at least once and at least 19.4 per cent of those who have ever smoked, have done so while under the age of 10 years old.

“In addition, 70 per cent of the students surveyed indicated that they are exposed to second-hand smoke. The World Health Organization indicates that tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of deaths worldwide,” she noted.

Turning to the use of alcohol, she said the Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey of 2008 indicates that 65 per cent of Jamaicans, aged 15 to 75, consume alcohol.

“The Jamaica Youth Risk and Resiliency Behaviour Survey of 2006 reports that almost 50 per cent of our youth use alcohol, with 10.4 per cent of males and 5.8 per cent of females reporting drunkenness at sometime,” she added.

The Chief Medical Officer said that in recognition of the threat of NCDs, the Ministry has developed a road map – the National Strategic and Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2018.

The Action Plan is expected to result in a significant reduction in the burden of preventable morbidity and disability and premature mortality, due to NCDs and injuries, by 25 per cent by 2015.

Dr. Bullock DuCasse said the conference will allow participants to keep abreast of new technologies and methods to improve processes and secure better health outcomes for patients.

The annual Dr. Leila Wynter conference commemorates the life and work of Dr. Leila Wynter, who was the first senior Paediatrician at the Bustamante Hospital for Children.

The conference was held under the theme: ‘Non-Communicable Diseases in Children’.

 

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