By Jane B Mansaray
In a bid to improve the medical facility in the country, Medtronic LABs, with its Better Lyfe Project, officially launched in Sierra Leone for all Diabetes and Hypertensive patients to lift Medical development to another level.
The Medtronic LABS is a Global Health, and Local Solutions for Better Lyfe by way of transforming health systems with care that can measure, and also design the health system that is equitable, tech-enabled, and patient centered.
Mission of the Better Lyfe project is to expand access to healthcare for patients, families, and communities across the world.
Speaking at the official launching ceremony held yesterday at the Family Kingdom at Aberdeen in Freetown, Medtronic Sierra Leone Country Lead, Mr. Idrissa Cole said the project started operations in Sierra Leone in 2011; aimed at improving healthcare delivery for both diabetic and hypertensive patients.
Currently, Mr. Cole said the project is being implemented in partnership with the Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone (CHASL) and operating in nine Christian Health Facilities in Sierra Leone.
According to Mr. Idrissa Cole, a community based approach by integrate spice platform approached facility through community screen, especially when diabetic and hypertension are on the increase in the country. The screening is to ensure that cases of enrolled patients in the platform provide on a continuous assessment to see that patients are well managed and their life improved.
Health Care Management data, Mr. Cole said, will help increase the Medtronic by moving from paper based data to electronic digital based management, and with the better lyfe approach so that they can operate across the 9 facilities. The screen and enrollment for now, Cole said, is free but also take into consideration that the facility has to sustain especially in term of medication, and called on partners such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to start looking and see how they can work with these facilities in order to develop a sustainable plan for a long time plan care for these patients.
Nationally, Mr. Cole confirmed that there is no clear data for these Non Communicable Diseases (NCD), and when they stated operation, about 2,500 patients were enrolled and most are thriving through community screen. He assured of still working with the Government of Sierra Leone and NCD to have a comprehensive data operation and research approach for the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to make informed decisions. “In as much as medication is key, prevention is also key,” Mr. Idrissa Cole emphasised.
WHO Representation, Dr. Steven Shongwe said Sierra Leone like many other developing countries faces a triple burden of communicable and non- communicable diseases and injuries. The burden of NCDs and injuries is growing fast and if the trend continues, NCDs will become the leading cause of illness, death and disability in the coming years.
Dr. Steven furthered that diabetes and hypertension form a deadly combination, and NCD prevention and control includes population widen interventions to reduce risk factor exposure, individual approach to modify risk factors for high risk indiduals and treatment of NCDs.
The Medtronic LABS was yesterday officially launched by Santigie Sesay, Director of NCD Directorate, Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOH).
In his statement, he said the fight against NCD cannot be a one-man effort, but a fight for all to come onboard to win this fight. Medtronic is a core component in the effort of readily preparedness and respond and our duty is to ensure all have access to the full blown healthcare service to those that promote and provide treatment.
Dr Steven Shongwe encouraged the implementation of the Better Lyfe project and ensures that the services remain affordable and accessible.
Haja Ramatulai Wurie, Senior Lecturer at College of Medicine and Allied Health Services (COMAHS) chaired the ceremony; and several officials from the health sector made statements.