News day / Speaking last week at the launch of the “Do Campaign”, which combines the efforts of various organisations that have worked together to develop mechanisms which provide routine universal screening for diabetes in pregnancy, with a goal to promote the earliest identification and treatment.

He said a major part of the initiative is the development of a solution called the HiPTT application, which utilise Microsoft Azure technology and was developed at Microsoft Innovation Centre (MIC).

Teelucksingh noted that innovations like the HiPTT app are needed for the management of NCDs.

“The HiPTT app doctors can now easily review their patients’ medical results either on a mobile device or a computer and at the same time patients can receive their laboratory results automatically and can upload their at-home glucose results, which will facilitate timely medical interventions, as well as improved self management,” Teelucksingh explained.

Also speaking at the launch, Adviser, Health Promotion Communications and Public Health at the Ministry of Health Dr Rohit Doon said Non-communicable Diseases (NCD) such as Heart Disease, Diabetes, Cancer, and Cardiovascular Disease account for more than 62 percent of deaths in TT annually.

At the launch held at Microsoft Centre, Mucurapo Road, St James, Doon said the Diabetes epidemic is escalating over the world, and Trinidad and Tobago is not immune to this trend given the 350 percent increase in the prevalence of Diabetes from 4 percent in 1980, to current estimates of 14.5 percent.

“To compound this alarming statistic, Diabetes is now ranked as the second leading cause of death, rising from the seventh leading cause of death, in the 80s. Immediate and integrated action directed at the prevention and control of this devastating disease is mandatory. The far reaching ram- ifications of Diabetes in our population, extend beyond the medical sequelae (a condition which is the consequence of a previous disease or injury),” he said.

Doon emphasised that this epidemic contributes to the potential erosion of the nation Gross Domestic Product (GDP). “Collectively, Diabetes and Hypertension, account for an economic burden of TT$5.86 Billion, representing 3 percent of the GDP. But this is likely to be an underestimate.

The current estimated annual cost of Diabetes to the Public Health Sector is about $3.8 Billion with TT$1.005 Billion Borne by the Health Care Services and Productivity losses estimated to be TT$2.717 Billion,” Doon explained.

He said the impact of Diabetes during pregnancy has deleterious consequences for both baby and mother by doubling the rates of caesarean section; four times the rate of neonatal ICU stays, eight times the rate of birth defects, mothers developing diabetes in later life, and infants of diabetic mothers have increased risk of diabetes in later life.


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