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From left, Dr Roshan Parasram, Chief Medical Officer; Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister of Health; and Dr Erica Wheeler, PAHO/WHO representative, at the handover of the equipment.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) handed over eight laptops and 150 jump drives to the Mental Health Unit of the Ministry of Health, on Tuesday. These will strengthen capacity for data collection and delivery of mental health services, with an emphasis on youth and suicide prevention at the Regional Health Authorities and within the Ministry of Health.

Another laptop was provided to the Occupational Health and Safety Unit to assess the occupational health and safety risk of healthcare workers. The expected outcome is that the information gathered will be used in the development of targeted interventions and appropriate communication messages for healthcare workers.

PAHO also provided technical support to aid in the Ministry of Health’s efforts to implement the HEARTS initiative which was officially launched in Trinidad and Tobago on 30 July 2019.

The HEARTS Initiative is a WHO model for cardiovascular disease risk management that focuses on improving the management of hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia at the primary healthcare level. A donation of 32,000 Health Lifestyle Diaries and Blood Pressure Trackers, 10 blood pressure pull-ups, banners and 50,000 flyers on the accurate ways to measure blood pressure addresses key components of the HEARTS model: promotion of self-management and providing healthcare workers with continuous reminders of standard blood pressure measurement to obtain accurate readings.

These items were purchased through Canadian and German grants, as well as PAHO grant funds for the HEARTS in the Americas.

Present for the handing over were Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, Dr Roshan Parasram, Chief Medical Officer; and Dr Erica Wheeler, PAHO/WHO representative.