Wednesday, September 26, 2012 – Primary Health Care facilities and the Community Health Nursing Service have received a much needed boost in their suite of services.
Saint Lucia’s Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations recently acquired two I-STAT machines through funding by the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CBD) Economic Reconstruction Programme.
The I-STAT machine is a handheld diagnostic tool that provides wide-range, real-time, laboratory-quality results within minutes.
Principal Nursing Officer Ann Henry says Saint Lucia’s Wellness Centres currently provide high quality, affordable, preventive care to many persons especially low income and those in rural communities
Additionally, she says, a large population of patients at risk for Chronic Non Communicable Diseases including Chronic Kidney Disease are managed in Primary Health Care facilities as many of these patients cannot afford the laboratory tests needed for early detection, prompt treatment and follow-up care.
The I-STAT machines, Nurse Henry says, will bring the blood tests conveniently and immediately to the patients at the island’s Wellness Centres. This will increase the likelihood that the patients and the primary healthcare team will receive the results quicker, which allows for immediate clinical management decisions to be made.