Saturday 31 October, 2020

IDB supports Jamaica’s prevention and management of NCDs programme

Therese Turner-Jones, IDB Jamaica Country Representative and General Manager for the Caribbean Country Group noted that five per cent of COVID-19 patients develop severe complications, and those who have chronic conditions are at higher risk of progressing to more severe forms of the disease.

Therese Turner-Jones, IDB Jamaica Country Representative and General Manager for the Caribbean Country Group noted that five per cent of COVID-19 patients develop severe complications, and those who have chronic conditions are at higher risk of progressing to more severe forms of the disease.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a programmatic policy-based loan of $100 million to support the strengthening of Jamaica’s health systems to better prevent and manage the care of non-communicable diseases.

The main objective of this programme is to contribute to the improvement of the health of Jamaica’s population by bolstering comprehensive policies for the reduction of Non-Communicable (Chronic) Diseases (NCDs) risk factors. 

It also aims to improve access to an upgraded and integrated primary and secondary health network in prioritized areas, with an emphasis on chronic disease management. The idea is to provide more efficient and higher quality care.

Policy-based loans or PBLs provide the Bank’s borrowing member countries with flexible, liquid funding to support policy reforms and institutional changes in a sector or subsector.

The programme will strengthen policy and regulatory measures to reduce risk factors and improve early detection and clinical management of NCDs to reach its primary objective.

In Jamaica, chronic diseases are the top causes of ambulatory and hospital care, disability, and mortality.

Therese Turner-Jones, IDB Jamaica Country Representative and General Manager for the Caribbean Country Group noted that five per cent of COVID-19 patients develop severe complications, and those who have chronic conditions are at higher risk of progressing to more severe forms of the disease, require intensive care and mechanical ventilation.

“This operation is most relevant at this time as it addresses mitigation and underlying risk factors for patients with non-communicable diseases,” she said.

The programme will track progress in reducing the prevalence of diabetes, hypertension and premature mortality associated with NCDs.

Also, it will monitor the achievement of the targets related to the prevalence of risk factors such as tobacco use and alcohol consumption.

Finally, it will measure the performance of the chronic care model within the health networks and health facilities to measure the combined results of the investment and policy components of the program on improving the health status of the NCDs’ patients

The programme to prevent and manage non-communicable diseases will benefit the Jamaican population at large, which comprises 2.9 million people. Public health policies have tangible positive social effects.

The chronic care model will attend almost 50 per cent of the population, mainly those who are overweight, obese, or have diabetes or hypertension. Additionally, the National Strategic Plan on Mental Health will cover primarily the adult population, about 50 per cent of the total.

The $100 million loan is for a five-year term and an interest rate based on The London Inter-bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) - an interest-rate average calculated from estimates submitted by the leading banks in London.

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