Mauritius takes health screening, counselling to the people

posted in: Africa



Quatre Bornes, Mauritius – On Saturday, the Mauritian Health Ministry launched the ‘Health Screening and Counselling services at your doorstep Programme’, taking screening and counselling services further closer to the population, PANA reported from here.

Under the programme, the ministry will provide information and carry out the prevention and early detection of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) at community level, work sites and in secondary schools.

Speaking at the launch ceremony, Mauritian Health Minister Lormus Bundhoo, said: “We are all aware of the high prevalence of NCDs in Mauritius.”

“Today, NCDs represent 80% of the total disease burden and account for 60% of mortality in Mauritius”, he added, saying that Mauritius was not spared from the globalization of unhealthy life styles, rapid unplanned urbanization, and the ageing of populations.

Bundhoo said one of the consequences was the prevalence, everywhere, of chronic diseases like heart problems, cancer, diabetes and mental disorders.

Citing official statistics, the minister indicated that the prevalence of diabetes in Mauritius was 23.6% with almost 1 in 2 Mauritians, aged between 25-74 years, either diabetic or on the way to developing diabetes; 37.9% of the people have high blood pressure; 50.9% either overweight or obese – 46% of which are men and 55.6 % women.

The minister said the activities of the “Health Screening and Counselling Services at your Doorstep Programme” included sensitization to further reduce the prevalence of diabetes through counselling and education on the risk factors; screening services for diabetes, hypertension, vision and obesity.

The programme will also involve screening for breast and cervical cancer for women, aged 30 to 60 years, cooking demonstrations, physical activity demonstrations, distribution of “Know Your Number” tapes and leaflets to the population to assess their risks of developing NCDs, and the introduction of a structured and computerized referral system for all participants screened with any health problem.