From L-R: Dr. Roshan Parasram, Chief Medical Officer; The Honorable Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister of Health; and Dr. Erica Wheeler, PAHO/WHO Representative. (Image courtesy PAHO)

The Ministry of Health has been given a boost in its ability to deliver quality health services to citizens with the donation of computer equipment by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), earlier this week.

Present at the handing over ceremony on Tuesday 10th November 2020, to receive the donation were: Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister of Health; Dr. Roshan Parasram, Chief Medical Officer; and Dr. Erica Wheeler, the PAHO/WHO Representative. 

PAHO handed over eight laptops along with 150 jump drives to the Ministry’s Mental Health Unit. According to PAHO, these computers 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. 

PAHO also donated another laptop—to the Occupational Health and Safety Unit—to help with assessing the occupational health and safety risk of healthcare workers.  It is hoped that the information gathered will be used in the development of targeted interventions and appropriate communication messages for healthcare workers. 

The Health Ministry’s HEARTS Initiative—which was officially launched on 30 July 2019—also got an implementation boost courtesy some technical support from PAHO.

The HEARTS Initiative is a World Health Organisation (WHO) model for cardiovascular disease risk management that focuses on improving the management of hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia (non-communicable diseases or NCDs) at the primary healthcare level.

PAHO donated some 32,000 Health Lifestyle Diaries and Blood Pressure Trackers, 10 blood pressure pull up banners and 50,000 flyers on the accurate ways to measure blood pressure, addressing 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. 

An official statement from PAHO confirms that these items were purchased through Canadian and German grants, as well as PAHO grant funds for the HEARTS in the Americas.