Jamaica gets support from IDB for NCD programme

Jamaica gets support from IDB for NCD programme

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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THE Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on Monday announced the approval of a programmatic, policy-based loan of $100 million to support the strengthening of Jamaica's health systems to better prevent and manage the care of noncommunicable diseases.

“The main objective of this programme is to contribute to the improvement of the health of Jamaica's population by bolstering comprehensive policies for the reduction of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) risk factors. It also aims to improve access to an upgraded and integrated primary and secondary health network in prioritised areas, with an emphasis on chronic disease management. The idea is to provide more efficient and higher-quality care,” said a statement Monday night from the IDB.

It said policy-based loans or PBLs provide the bank's borrowing member countries with flexible, liquid funding to support policy reforms and institutional changes in a sector or subsector, noting that the programme will strengthen policy and regulatory measures to reduce risk factors and improve early detection and clinical management of NCDs to reach its primary objective.

In Jamaica, chronic diseases are the main factors leading to ambulatory and hospital care, disability, and mortality.

Therese Turner-Jones, IDB Jamaica country representative and general manager for the Caribbean Country Group, noted that five per cent of COVID-19 patients develop severe complications, and those who have chronic conditions are at higher risk of progressing to more severe forms of the disease, and require intensive care and mechanical ventilation.

“This operation is most relevant at this time as it addresses mitigation and underlying risk factors for patients with noncommunicable diseases,” she said.

The programme, said the IDB, will track progress in reducing the prevalence of diabetes, hypertension and premature mortality associated with NCDs. It said, too, that it will monitor the achievement of the targets related to the prevalence of risk factors such as tobacco use and alcohol consumption.

“Finally, it will measure the performance of the chronic care model within the health networks and health facilities to measure the combined results of the investment and policy components of the programme on improving the health status of the NCDs patients

“The programme to prevent and manage noncommunicable diseases will benefit the Jamaican population at large, which comprises 2.9 million people. Public health policies have tangible, positive social effects. The chronic care model will attend almost 50 per cent of the population, mainly those who are overweight, obese, or have diabetes or hypertension. Additionally, the National Strategic Plan on Mental Health will cover primarily the adult population, about 50 per cent of the total,” said the IDB.

The $100 million loan is for a five-year term.

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