Delivering quality patient care in a low resource setting in Jamaica
Nurse practitioners are providing front line care to individuals and groups with diabetes. The model has seen significant improvements in people’s understanding and control of diabetes. The model can be easily implemented in low resource settings.
In 2006, diabetes claimed the lives of more than 4,500 Jamaicans (The Gleaner 2018). It is estimated that 12% of the population of Jamaica have diabetes, a disease that is affecting the health and wellbeing of the nation, particularly in low resource areas.
Family Nurse Practitioner Heather McGrath is employed at the St James Public Health Service, which uses a Primary Health Care model and emphasises the importance of ‘Healthy Families Living in Healthy Communities’. The organisation’s goal is to safeguard the health of the residents of St James and provide and maintain facilities and conditions conducive to the promotion of health. The health service employs a range of healthcare professionals who offer maternal and child health, medical, mental and environmental health, nutrition, pharmacy, laboratory and dental services.
In addition, a Nurse Practitioner leads small group meetings with up to 12 people in the community, in which patients can discuss their clinical needs. As a result of these interventions more people are bringing their diabetes under control and are better educated about their condition.
Heather recognised the value of working with community-based organisations in an effort to improve the health outcomes of people living in low resource settings. As a patient advocate, she has provided her community with a voice in the development of diabetes services within her local area.
The Gleaner (2018) Doctor’s Appointment | Sugar! The Facts About Diabetes. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/health/20180411/doctors-appointment-sugar-facts-about-diabetes