By Devonne Cornelius
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) – “The Nurse and Diabetes” is the theme for World Diabetes Day 2020. Nurses are receiving accolades for their role in patient engagement and treatment on the island of Nevis.
The Nevis Island Administration’s (NIA) Junior Minister of Health the Hon. Hazel Brandy- Williams in an address to mark the occasion praised the frontline workers.
She highlighted the importance of having nurses equipped with up-to-date information and the necessary tools to work effectively and efficiently.
“Nurses are at the forefront of healthcare. They play a pivotal role in monitoring our population’s health. Their performance can significantly influence health-related outcomes”.
“Some of the functions that nurses play in the prevention and control of diabetes include: recognition of risk factors; screening and early identification of new cases for timely interventions and treatment; assistance with education and self-management; and provision of psychological support.”
The Health Minister said the NIA has committed to investing in the local nursing fraternity by making sure nurses acquire the necessary skills through ongoing training and capacity building.
In Nevis, the number of nurses has declined due in part to migration and retirement. Currently, there are 35 trained nurses employed in institutional services and 10 nurses in community services. This cadre is supported by a team of enrolled nursing assistants, community health workers, and other supporting staff in managing the 470 registered diabetics on record.
Minister Brandy- Williams said, “despite our shortages, they work continuously in collaboration with other health care providers in both the public and private sector to provide screening, educational and outreach activities, foot care, self-management and other essential services for prevention and control.”
She used the opportunity to express gratitude to nurses both current and retired in Nevis, for their continued unwavering and selfless dedication to the service and for helping to care for fellow citizens living with diabetes and other chronic diseases.
The World Health Organization [WHO] has reported that nurses account for 59 percent of health professionals. Worldwide, there are significant shortages of nurses all over the world. However, the WHO indicates that if we are to overcome this shortage, the number of trained and employed nurses would need to grow by 8 percent per annum. Furthermore, as the number of people living with diabetes continues to rise, the demand for trained nurses will also continue to grow.