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The existing Cancer Registry will be converted to a registry for non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The existing Cancer Registry will be converted to a registry for non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Terrence DeyalsinghThe remit of NDCs will be expanded to include metabolic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and cancers.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh made the revelation at a media conference today, as he noted that a national policy on non-communicable diseases will be before Cabinet for approval on Thursday.

A project implementation unit will also form part of the condition of Cabinet’s approval to the policy.

Data collection is key to the policy’s functionality, but the country’s statistical data gathering body, the Central Statistical Office is currently faced with a number of challenges affecting its ability to provide up-to-date figures.

The Minister revealed that the Cancer Registry has also been faced with challenges, as he noted that it was previously understaffed and under-resourced, with one member of staff and one computer that was not functioning properly.

“We have since added another body to that (Registry); an actual Registrar. And part of the loan funding is to set up a proper registry. So we’ll be converting the Cancer Registry to an NCD Registry.”

Deyalsingh says data on the prevalence and incidence of cancers will be put to use, as well as data related to diabetes, hypertensions and other NCDs.

A significant portion of the plan will be targeted towards behaviour modification at the primary and secondary school levels.

A national screening protocol will also be adopted as part of the national NCD policy, which will oversee screening for gestational diabetes in pregnant women and a national screening programme for cervical cancer.

The Minister stressed that intervention is key in preventing the occurrence of NCDs.

That story courtesy Looptt.