Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Department on 28th June had completed a five days Non-Communicable Disease and Solomon Islands Packaging of Essential Intervention for NCD (SOLPEN) training in Honiara.
Participants at the training were; provincial health directors, doctors, training officers, NCD Provincial coordinators and nurses at the national diabetes center and cancer nurses at the National Referral Hospital (NRH).
The training aimed for the participants to; develop provincial NCD/SOLPEN plan and NCD team to conduct training, screening and intervention in each provinces to reduce NCDs. Strengthen awareness and intervention to reduce NCD Risk factors and SOLPEN treatment and management of patients with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic respiratory disease and cancers at each settings.
Mrs. Nevalyn Laesango, National Coordinator and Acting Director, Non-Communicable Disease Division, Ministry of Health and Medical Service stated the training is very important – as NCDs the top cause of death in the country.
Mrs. Laesango revealed six people died each day of NCDs in Solomon Islands.
“Clinical data shows every one to two Solomon Islanders die from heart attack, one from stroke, one from type 2 diabetes and one from cancer. Sum of death is about six and therefore Solomon Islanders die every day due to NCDs”, said Mrs. Laesango.
“Solomon Islands like other Pacific Island Countries, is undergoing the epidemiological transition with the double burden of NCDs and communicable diseases. NCDs is increasing at an alarming rate and about 70 percent of people died of all NCDs related including cardiovascular/ heart failure, stroke, cancers, diabetes and COPD annually and these are young adults between 30 and 60 years. The Solomon Islands STEP Survey 2015 shows that we are not eating and living healthy”, revealed Laesango.
The survey also shows behavioral risk factors that leads to NCDs are; unhealthy diet, inadequate physical activity, excessive drinking of alcohol, daily smoking of tobacco, betel-nut chewing, house hold salt intake and mental disorders. Metabolic risk factors are; overweight and obesity, prediabetes and diabetes, pre-hypertension and hypertension and raised cholesterol.
“The workshop also aim for MHMS and the NCD Program to develop a new Multi-Sectoral National NCD Strategic Plan 2024-2028. In addition, to develop the provincial NCD team for early detections and proper management of NCDs in the provincial level was discussed in the training to be in line with the National Health strategic plan 2022 to 2030”, explained Mrs. Laesango.
She added way forward for both national and provincial level is to; strengthens governance and coordination on NCDs activities thru the NCD road map. Strengthens and enforcement Public Health Policy such as the Tobacco control Act 2010, implement sugar –sweetened beverages Policy and the roll out of the MHMS role delineation Policy to reduce NCDs at all settings.