A recent three days training on Solomon Islands Packaging of Essential Intervention for NCD (SOLPEN) for medical and health workers in Makira province was successfully completed. The training boosted knowledge and skills on effective assessment and management of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) as well as community awareness on NCD preventative measures.
The training’s lead facilitator Dr. Jones Ghabu, a consultant physician and specialist at the NRH’s Diabetic Centre describes the training. “The SOLPEN training involves building the capacity of doctors and nurses as well other health workers on how to properly conduct assessment to swiftly detect NCDs and its complications, prepare health systems in place for management of NCDs and to effectively carry out community awareness around NCD’s preventative measures”.
He also explained that the training had given the opportunity for participants to practically assess and manage actual NCD patients and engage in community awareness programs. “It was a useful exercise and with the practical sessions participants really did well in following the relevant steps and procedures in detecting and managing the NCD patients. NCDs are preventable diseases as such; efforts were also focused on community awareness”.
Solomon Islands has the highest death rates and disabilities with more than 70 percent of deaths in the country relating to NCDs with 88 percent of casual factors related to unhealthy diets and eating habits.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) Mrs. Pauline McNeil congratulated the participants of the training stating that with the knowledge and skills gained, work on addressing NCDs must continue.
“With ongoing efforts to address the COVID-19 threat, work on addressing NCDs and other health priorities must continue to ensure that we reduce potential devastating impact of COVID-19 on our population with NCDs as well as other health areas”, explained Mrs. McNeil.
MHMS Permanent Secretary also acknowledge the support rendered by donors and development partners especially the Government of Australia and New Zealand for the funding support and technical assistance by WHO towards the SOLPEN program.