330 people in need of dialysis across Guyana

… Focus now on standardised treatment, detecting early signs

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There are about 330 people in Guyana who require dialysis treatment to help them live and as the country focuses on improving the treatment for persons with diabetes, the Health Ministry is hoping to detect persons at risk for diabetes or those who are pre-diabetic much earlier.

This was made known on Wednesday at a diabetes trainer of trainers event held at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Georgetown.

Through a collaboration with the Mount Sinai Hospital in the United States, the Ministry of Health developed national guidelines for diabetes care. Through these guidelines, it is expected that persons with diabetes can receive standardised care throughout Guyana.

Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony speaking at the event (Photo: DPI/ September 06, 2023)

Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony said standardised care is necessary to help patients.

“There are about 330 persons who are on dialysis right now.

“We can reduce that number in the future by working closely to prevent the complications,” the Health Minister said at the event on Wednesday.

One problem that has been flagged is that doctors sometimes prescribe different medications for patients because they have their own approach for treating diabetes. Dr. Anthony, however, emphasised that doctors should stick to the medications included on Guyana’s national list. If not, patients may have the added burden of sourcing medication not provided by the ministry.

Aside from standardising the drugs used, the new guidelines detail goals and targets for prevention and control, follow-up care and primary care measures that can be used to prevent complications.

Those primary care measures include blood pressure and cholesterol monitoring; kidney care; eye care and disease prevention; and foot care and wound prevention. These measures are particularly necessary for people at risk of diabetes or who are pre-diabetic.

Director of the Health Ministry’s Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Programme, Dr. Lachmie Lall said local authorities have not been able to find people who are pre-diabetic early enough. As such, early care cannot be readily provided.

With the increased focus on standardising diabetes care now, she believes the local health authorities will be better positioned to help more people.

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