The 2017 Atlantic basin hurricane season, left an unprecedented mark in the Caribbean. Hurricane Irma over September 5thto 6th, made landfall as a category 5 hurricane causing catastrophic damage in the OECS member states of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands (BVI), the Commonwealth of Dominica, Montserrat and St. Kitts and Nevis. Two weeks later, during the week of September 18th to 20th, Hurricane Maria, the costliest Caribbean hurricane on record and the deadliest Atlantic hurricane since 2004, devastated Dominica and severely impacted Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat and Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Hurricane Irma’s and Maria’s catastrophic damage, and the severity, as well as duration, of tremendous hardships which were experienced on the islands post hurricanes, has prompted theOECS World Diabetes Foundation (WDF) funded project in an effort to understand and possibly decrease the risks directly due to natural disasters and the subsequent disruption in healthcare for vulnerable persons with diabetes and hypertension and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Commonwealth of Dominica, Montserrat and St. Kitts and Nevis
To address and mitigate risks due to natural disasters and subsequent disruption of healthcare for people with diabetes and other NCDs.
This regional small island states programme will be coordinated by the OECS health unit and implemented by health authorities, disaster agencies and other key local/regional stakeholders at country level in six island states recently affected by natural disasters. Activities include:
- Establishing a project steering committee consisting of health authorities and other key local/regional stakeholders from all participating Member States; OECS will handle overall coordination
- Assessment of health outcomes for people with diabetes/NCDs for the two years following the 2017 hurricanes Irma and Maria through existing records with clinical indicators
- Video documentation of the initial health system response and lessons learned to be used as a regional advocacy tool
- Training of HCPs of different categories within disaster preparedness and response for vulnerable people with diabetes/NCDs through development and implementation of training and capacity building
- Updated national and regional response plans and shelter management tools to include response to vulnerable people with diabetes/NCDs
- Establishing patient registers (integrated with existing HMIS) with clinical indicators for improved disaster preparation and response
- Developing and piloting of a new OECS electronic patient record in two selected island states for improvement of continuity of care for patients moving within or outside the region due to natural disasters
- Report on health outcomes and video documentation related to diabetes/NCDs in natural disasters produced for advocacy purposes
- National and regional response plans and shelter management tools updated to include response to vulnerable people with diabetes/NCDs
- 300 HCPs from 12 clinics/hospitals trained within disaster preparedness and response for people with diabetes/NCDs
- 10,000 vulnerable patients with diabetes/NCDs registered
- At least 6,000 affected diabetes patients referred to and seen at strengthened clinics for appropriate management of their condition to agreed targets and/or for disaster preparedness guidance
- OECS web-based patient record developed for 1,000 diabetes patients
- 270,000 people (the population of the six targeted island states recently affected by) will potentially benefit from the proposed project through disaster preparedness and improved care