‘HEARTS Initiative’ to be implemented in 30 more health centres
The Ministry of Health’s Chronic Disease Unit will implement the ‘HEARTS technical package’ in 30 additional health centres and health posts across the country, to better manage hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.
Hypertension, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases is one of the main causes of death globally and in Guyana.
The HEARTS initiative aims to better assist healthcare professionals in the prevention and early detection of cardiovascular diseases and hypertension through primary healthcare.
Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony speaking at the launching of the National Expansion of the HEARTS Initiative for the management of cardiovascular diseases, acknowledged that more has to be done in the area and through the collaboration with PAHO/WHO, the country will achieve its objectives at a faster pace.
Dr Anthony stressed the need for all health centres and health posts in Guyana to implement the programme.
“We have about 386 health posts and centres (and) we’re probably now at 100 health centres where we have HEARTS. We are adding maybe 30 more, so we still have a far way to go to complete these two levels. We need to set a target that within the next year or two, we’ll have comprehensive coverage of all our health centres and all of our health posts,” the minister noted.
Importantly, Dr Anthony pointed out that the population must be considered as a factor when implementing the HEARTS initiative in various areas.
“I can see that in some of the regions where we have a lot of patients and they’re more densely populated that we still have a lot of work to do there in terms of coverage … I think in the discussions that we’re having, one of the things that we need to do is to really appraise where we are and then look at how we can intervene to have the greatest impact on what we’re doing,” Dr Anthony added.
Meanwhile, Director of Non-Communicable Diseases, Dr Latchmie Lall explained that since the implementation of the HEARTS initiative, new guidelines were developed and new medications have been introduced to treat patients. PAHO/WHO Representative, Dr Luis Codina also delivered remarks.