Dominica is reintroducing the training of healthcare nurses to address the rise of deaths caused by Chronic Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs).
NCDs, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, chronic lung disease, and high blood pressure, are said to be the leading causes of death in Dominica in the past decade and a half.
“I am announcing today that we are going to go back to training primary healthcare nurses in Dominica,” Dominica’s prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit said at the recent swearing-in of Cabinet Minister following the snap elections that happened on December 6. “These nurses have to be in the villages, in the communities.”
Skerrit emphasized the need for the nurses to not just stay in health centres but also “go back to house visits and home visits to see where the patients live.”
“It’s not only about having a nurse at the health centre, but a nurse who walks around in the community and visits the patients and knows how the patients live so that we can ensure that we can save lives and save our country,” he said.
As part of its goal to become the world’s first climate-resilient nation, the government of Dominica has been rolling out projects to build back better infrastructures, including the healthcare sector.
The government, in partnership with MMC Development Ltd., embarked on developing state-of-the-art health and wellness centres across the island. To date, twelve centres are catering primary healthcare needs of Dominicans.
“Equipped with the necessary apparatuses, equipment and furnishings, these facilities will be able to cater for the health needs of Dominicans and give the country’s healthcare system its much-needed boosts,” MMC Development Ltd. said on its website.
Skerrit has also stressed the importance of preventing NCDs rather than treating them.
“Exercising, eating right, managing stress and anxiety in our country, which is a major threat to our health…,” Skerrit noted. “Getting the whole country to be part of an exercise regime of eating right, eating what we grow, eating healthy.”
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