(PRESS RELEASE) – The Department of Health & Wellness is well on its way to generate effective responses for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases NCDs as it prepares for the commencement of the STEPS survey in Saint Lucia.
The Department of Health & Wellness in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organisation PAHO recently hosted a training workshop on the application of the STEPS survey.
The workshop is aimed at preparing enumerators and nursing supervisors who will be undertaking the STEPS survey in Saint Lucia.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Merlene Fredericks-James says the STEPS survey is extremely important as it will assist with the monitoring of non-communicable diseases and its risk factors in Saint Lucia. “The objective of the workshop is to really train the enumerators so that when we go out to the friend, we can ensure that we are collecting good quality data that we could use to estimate and get an idea of what the risk factors are for non-communicable diseases in Saint Lucia. But the survey itself is very important, because it will assist us in estimating our non-communicable diseases burden in the country; it will assist us in getting more persons into care because we know if persons are picked up early or identified early and treated early, complications like heart disease, lung disease, kidney failure, etc would be prevented.”
PAHO Advisor for Chronic Diseases Dr. Patrice Lawrence says the STEPS survey is important to Saint Lucia as it will aid with the development of a plan to deal with the burden of non-communicable diseases.
“The results of the study will lead us to look at factors that we need to focus on during our programme implementation for the people of Saint Lucia allowing us to make smart decisions and to maximize our already limited resources. The study will be a sample representation of the entire population of Saint Lucia, so the study is about the people of Saint Lucia.”
The STEPS survey is a household-based study which will entail a questionnaire, cholesterol, urine, blood sugar and blood pressure testing.
The survey will commence in November and will run for ten (10) weeks.