Public Health Ministry conduct survey on NCDs in Guyana


(July 12, 2016- Georgetown) The growing endemic of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) continues to attract more attention from the Government of Guyana as steps are being taken to reduce the number of deaths caused by such illnesses each year. The four main non communicable diseases, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory disease amounts for the highest burden on mortality and morbidity. Chronic Non Communicable Diseases account for 70% of all deaths occurring in Guyana and is the number one cause of premature deaths (before the age of 70 years). These diseases are totally preventable by the simple modification of four risk factors.

Harmful Tobacco Use, Unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol are the four main risk factors associated with the onset of chronic non communicable diseases.
The Ministry of Public Health, Chronic Disease Unit in its efforts to combat NCDs will be conducting a STEPwise Approach Population Based Survey from July to October 2016 to determine chronic disease risk factor and surveillance in Guyana.
The Listing Process is scheduled to commence on Thursday, July 14 and will conclude on Monday, July 18 2016.
For many years, Guyana has been utilizing estimated statistics to account for the population at risk of developing NCDs and for those who are already living with these diseases.  This approach will now be changed.
Upon the completion of the STEPS survey, statistics will be acquired and Guyana will now have baseline figures. This will allow the Ministry of Public Health to closely monitor the population which will facilitate the development and implementation of appropriate interventions to treat and prevent chronic non communicable diseases. The survey will also give the Ministry of Public Health a better chance to be able to properly forecast and procure the right type of medications and in its sufficient quantities, hence preventing drug shortages in the country.
The STEPS survey is a totally voluntary survey. All participants will be notified of their results at the end of the assessment.
A total of 3456 households will be randomly chosen to participate in the STEPS survey. One person (within the household) between the ages of 18 to 69 years will be asked to participate in the interview which comprises of 3 parts:

  • STEP 1 – Responding to basic questions pertaining to demographics, habits and lifestyle practices as it relates to the risk factors of NCDs.
  • STEP 2– The person participating will required to have their weight, height and blood pressure checked and recorded by the officer conducting the survey.
  • STEP 3- This is the final stage and it involves taking a small venous blood sample from the participant’s arm to test for blood sugar, cholesterol, sickle cell and thalassemia which are two common blood disorders found in Guyana. This step involves the participant fasting overnight.

Ministry of Public Health will be collaborating with the Bureau of Statistics in executing the STEPS survey. The Bureau of Statistics will be carrying out the Listing process. It is a very straightforward process which involves the trained personnel visiting communities to map out the layout of houses after which the households will be randomly selected. A kind request is extended to the communities across Guyana to offer their full support to the officers as they embark on this process.
For more information contact Dr. Kavita Singh, Coordinator Chronic Diseases Unit on telephone number 223 7355 or Mr. Ian Manifold, Head of Surveys, Bureau of Statistics on 225-9063.


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