THE way information is collected from patients on infectious and chronic non-communicable diseases in Guyana will see improvements, according to Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony, who was speaking at the opening ceremony of the National Health Surveillance Symposium at the Pegasus Corporate Suites, Kingston, on Tuesday.
The symposium is being hosted in partnership with the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO).
“The surveillance system needs to be robust for data collection to capture data on both infectious and chronic non-communicable diseases.
“When we think about diabetes, for example, we’re working with estimates, but we have people who come to us at clinics for treatment, but we don’t have a very strong and robust system of collecting that information and aggregating it so that we know exactly how we’re prepared to treat it,” Minister Anthony said during his remarks at the opening ceremony.
According to a statement from the health ministry, the symposium allows regional representatives and staff of the health surveillance departments from across the country to meet this week to discuss new approaches and strategies that will benefit the surveillance system under the One-Health initiative.
Dr Anthony underscored the importance of widespread testing and compiling of that data with the aim of identifying and monitoring the way in which disease outbreaks spread.
The Health Minister reminded of government’s major partnership with Mount Sinai Health System through support from HESS corporation on developing and integrating plans which will benefit the country’s healthcare system.
“Very soon, a patient’s electronic medical record system will be implemented which will see patients presenting smart cards to healthcare providers that will have all their medical records,” Dr Anthony highlighted.
The health ministry is also hopeful the initiative will also allow accurate and timely information on diseases and how it’s spread to be shared with health authorities.
This system will also be complemented by a Health Inflammatix Department which will analyse data and provide accurate information on the spread of diseases.
Among those present at the symposium were PAHO/WHO Representative in Guyana, Dr Luis Codina; Chief Medical Officer, Dr Narine Singh; Director of the Surveillance Unit, Sasha Walrond; Director of Disease Control, Dr Lachime Lall; Director of Disability and Rehabilitation Services, Dr Ariane Mangar; Director of Primary Health Care Services, Dr Ertenesia Hamilton; and other staff from the regional surveillance departments.