Health Minister opens third annual symposium for Person-Centred Care

Bringing two of UK’s distinguished professors, Anne Hendry and Paul Rylance, the Third Annual Symposium on Person-Centred Care will be opened by the Minister for Health Jean Paul Adam on Wednesday 12th July at 11 am at the diagnostic centre conference room.

This year more than 80 health professionals have registered to take part in the discussions under the theme “Leading quality through person-centred care”.

Person-centred care is the practice of giving care more for the needs of the patient. The first Symposium on Person-Centred Care in Seychelles was launched in 2015.

Following that an annual event have been created to teach health professionals how to further be flexible to meet their patients’ needs by placing them as an equal partner in the planning, developing and monitoring care to make sure it meets their needs.

Over three days, participants will interact in a selection of presentations and consultations to understand person-centred care and how to cater to patients needs by allowing them to be fully involved in their care by examining what is important when giving and receive care, what makes them feel that an episode of care has gone well and what they can do better.

Additionally, there will be group discussion and role playing to identify future goals and targets in patient-centred care and to give participants the chance to put into practice what they have learnt.

The Symposium on person-centred care is held every year in July and is attended by health professionals in all cadres.

Public Health Authority refutes claims of contaminated rice

The Public Health Authority (PHA) wishes to inform members of the public that messages circulating on social media and digital platforms regarding a contaminated shipment of rice from Pakistan is not authentic.

Investigations conducted by the Food Control Unit shows that the messages are related to an incident which occurred in 2013, whereby a shipment of 3 thousand tons of rice from Pakistan was quarantined in Mexico after officials discovered an infestation of tiny beetles in the grains.

No formal notifications have been received from the Seychelles Customs Department nor from the International Food Safety Network (INFOSAN) regarding a similar contamination.

The messages have been circulating social platforms in different countries for some time and the exact origin is uncertain and does not appear to be Seychelles.

Similar rumors have been circulating in the Jamaican media. Earlier in June the Jamaican Customs Agency (JCA) said it had no proof to confirm the claims.

Cancer patients set to benefit from external contribution

The Oncology Unit of the Seychelles Hospital will benefit a dual donation on Thursday 28th June 2018 from Soroptimist Seychelles and La Belle Hair Salon.

The presentations will be made at 1 pm at the red roof veranda.

Soroptimist Seychelles with the support of MCB Seychelles and Kannus through their annual corporate social responsibility (CSR) will be giving to unit 4 clinical recliners and infusion stands and 2 TV sets.

Ms Josette Barbe, owner of La Belle Hairdressing Salon will make a donation of wigs for cancer patients who lose their hair during treatment.

The CEO of Health Care Agency, Dr Danny Louange, will accept the donation on behalf of the unit.

Also in attendance will be the Managing Director of MCB Seychelles, Mr Bernard Jackson, the Onwer of Kannus Mr Shan Pillay and staff of the Oncology.

HCA undertakes renovation work on health centres

In continuing efforts to upgrade Community Health services, the Health Care Agency is embarking on major refurbishment projects on two of the five regional health centres in the country.

Local contractors have been awarded contracts to effect refurbishment and remodeling works at the English River Health Centre and to renovate the entire wastewater system at the Anse Boileau Health Centre.

Work on the English River Health Centre has begun since earlier June and involves an extension to add eight rooms. These will compliment and better accommodate health care services delivered at this health centre.

The Accident and Emergency section undergo an expansion of its present area to include an improved observation room complete with toilet and sluice facilities. Upon completion, the section will have increased space and facilities to cope with increased emergency cases; thus facilitating the movements and upgraded flow of work for the health care professionals.

Other renovation works involve the overall redecoration, fungal treatment and repainting of the entire health center.

At Anse Boileau Health Centre the entire wastewater and drainage system will be overhauled to include new man holes, drainage lines, inspection chambers, septic tanks and a field drain system for the final disposal of waste underground.

The present and existing system is currently unable to effectively manage the collection, draining and disposal of all the wastewaters that the health center facility is producing. The plateau area has a high water table, meaning that the current soakaway pits are flooded whenever there is high tide and this is aggravated during the rainy season. The new drainage system will provide for raised manholes and sewer lines and drain fields will be more appropriate for the effective containment of all wastewaters.

The other project for Anse Boileau health center is the renovation of the on call doctor’s house. The scope of works has already been tendered out and potential contractors have until the 12th June to submit their quotations after which tender analysis and approval to go ahead will be carried out.

Members of the public are being asked to understand and give out their full support and cooperation whilst the renovation works are being carried out.

HCA hosts blood drive with a call for regular donation

An annual event, celebrated worldwide in the month of June, World Blood Donor Day will this year be commemorated with a series of blood drives organised by the Health Care Agency.

The CEO of Health Care Agency Dr Danny Louange, will launch the week-long activity on Thursday 14th June 2018 at 9am at Fisherman’s Cove Hotel, whereafter a group hotel staff will take part in the first blood drive.

“World Blood Donor Day is observed every 14th June to thank voluntary unpaid blood donors for their gifts of giving blood,” said Mr Prosper Kinabo, Chief of Laboratory Services at the Seychelles Hospital.

“It also raises awareness of the need for regular blood donations throughout the year to ensure the quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need,”

Blood donation is a key element in the delivery of healthcare services. Blood shortages are a reality in Seychelles and across the globe.  The demand for blood continues to grow each year.

In 2017, only 1,578 units of blood were donated against a demand of 3,500. A large amount of these units came from relatives of persons needing blood. The remainder came from donors who give blood regularly i.e. every three to four months.

World Blood Donor Day is this year celebrated under the theme, “Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life” to further emphasise voluntary blood donation throughout the year by highlighting fundamental human values of respect, empathy, and kindness. These values are central to voluntary blood donation programmes.

On this occasion the Health Care Agency reiterates its appeal for individuals to come forward and donate blood throughout the year and consider becoming a regular blood donor. To give blood you must be healthy, aged 18 to 64 years old and must not have travelled to a Malaria endemic country within 4 months of giving blood.

Paediatric Ward celebrates Chidren’s Day

Children at the Paediatric Ward of the Seychelles Hospital will be treated to a special gathering organised by the Ministry of Health and SkyChef Servair on Friday 1st June 2018 to celebrate Children’s Day.

For this occasion, there will be a special lunch prepared by Skychef from 12pm. The Minister for Health, Mr Jean Paul Adam, and the Sales and Marketing Manager of SkyChef, Ms Sharon Botsoie will also join the event to distribute gifts.   

Tuck shop guidelines officially launched for second school term

The revised ‘2018 Tuck-Shop Guidelines’ for schools in Seychelles will make its official debut in the second school term following the handing over of the document to the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development by the Ministry of Health.

The presentation will take place on Wednesday 16th May 2018 at 9.30am at the Mont Fleuri Primary School dining hall.

In attendance will be the Minister for Family Affairs, members of management from Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, school head teachers, parents, school nurses and several other key stakeholders in the implementation of the guidelines.

Developed by the Nutrition Unit of the Health Care Agency in partnership with the Ministry of Education and several key partners, the ‘Tuck Shop Guidelines’ outlines food that can and cannot be consumed on school grounds based on their nutritional value. These foods are categorised according the Traffic Light Classification System.

The review of Tuck shop Guidelines started in 2017 as part of the revision of the National School Nutrition Policy dated August 2008. It aims to provide healthier food choices to school children and promote healthy eating habits to complement their academic training. The guidelines also ensures that that food and safety practices are well respected and applied at all times.

Public Health Authority implements monitoring measures amidst Ebola outbreak

Following notification of two confirmed cases of Ebola virus, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to the World Health Organisation (WHO) by the Ministry of Health of DRC on Tuesday 8th May 2018, the Public Health Authority of Seychelles is setting up proactive measures locally in line with the 2014 Ebola Response plan. Several monitoring measures are being implemented at ports of entry, including at airport and sea ports.

These including screening of all passengers who have travelled to the DRC within the 21 days of arriving to Seychelles and placement under passive surveillance. Additionally, the Public Health Authority is advising the public to refrain from travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo unless absolutely necessary and to contact the Communicable Disease Control Unit (CDCU) before travel to the Congos.

A total of 21 people believe to have the Ebola were reported from the Bikoro Health Zone, Equateur Province of DRC. From this, there has been 17 deaths. The patients presented with several symptoms similar to that of the illness, including fever, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, muscle pain and joint pain, and some also showed haemorrhagic (bleeding) symptoms and signs.

Over the past forty years, the DRC has experienced eight Ebola outbreaks. The last epidemic took place in May 2017 in the zone of Likati, Province of Bas-Uele. The ongoing epidemic is located in the Bikoro Health Zone, located in Equateur Province, in western Democratic Republic of the Congo and on the border with the Republic of the Congo. This is the fourth time that an Ebola outbreak has been reported in this province, after those of 1976, 1977 and 2014.

Seychelles and Cuba further consolidate health cooperation

As part of his diplomatic visit to Cuba, the Minister for Health, Mr Jean Paul Adam met with his Cuban counterpart, who has also recently taken up the role of Vice President of the State Council, Dr Roberto Morales Ojeda on Thursday 26th April 2018.

The meeting follows the ‘Cuba Salud’ Health Conference on the Sustainable Goals in Havana, which took place between the 23rd and 27th April 2018.

In their discussions, Minister Adam expressed his appreciation for the 53 Cuban experts who are currently contributing to Seychelles’ health sector. He also addressed the possibility of further expansion of the Cuban team for additional support areas of priority for sector. These include the more comprehensive treatment of diabetes, treatment and research in cancer and enhancement of neo-natal care and emergency care.

During the visit, the minister and his delegation also had a chance to meet some of the students studying in Havana as well as those in other provinces. In discussing with them, Minister Adam outlined the opportunities that they have for specialization and also listened to their views and perspectives with regards to their studies and their return to Seychelles.

“I am encouraged by your obvious enthusiasm and your wish to make a meaningful contribution to your country upon your return,” Minister said greeting the students. “A career in medicine leading directly to specialization means you will have the opportunity to be a leader in your field in Seychelles and this is a great responsibility but also a wonderful opportunity”.

There 15 students currently studying medicine in Cuba. Minister Adam also expressed his gratitude to the Cuban Government for agreeing to allow the Seychellois doctors to directly proceed for specialization. This extension was agreed on during the visit of President of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr Danny Faure in April 2017. The first two students to graduate with medical degrees following the agreement have already started their specialisations. The suggestion to have other Seychellois doctors who are working in Seychelles undertake their specialisation courses in Cuba was also raised by the Minister and this was wholeheartedly welcomed by the Cuban side.

The Seychelles delegation have also visited several reference institutions in Cuba including the Calixto Garcia Hospital, the Hermanos Ameijeras Hospital, as well as the National Institute for Oncology and Radiotherapy and the Cuban Genetic and Biotechnology institute. During these various consultations, the two sides continued to deliberate and jointly agreed to explore opportunities to provide more support and training, especially with the development of Seychelles Hospital as a teaching hospital.

Health minister underlines South South Cooperation as vehicle to achieve SDGs

Attending the 3rd ‘Cuba Salud’ Health Conference in Havana Cuba, from the 23rd to 27th April 2018, the Minister for Health, Minister Jean Paul Adam, hopes to explore means to harness South South cooperation options to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The conference which is being held under the patronage of the Cuban Ministry of Health and the Office of WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, has brought together health leaders from developing nations to identify mutual challenges and opportunities.

On Wednesday 25th April, Minister Adam joined by the Sudanese Minister for Health, Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, attended a special panel to share perspectives of different health systems in relation to global health challenges and opportunities. The panel was convened by Dr. Pierre Buekens, Professor and Dean of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine of Tulane University in New Orleans.

Minister Adam spoke from the perspective of an African Small Island Developing State and also as current chair of the grouping of African ‘SIDS’ Ministers of Health.

In his address, he underlined the first and greatest challenges for small island states; Human Resources. Following this he thanked the Cuban Government for its support in this area through South South cooperation. Through this link, 53 Cuban health professionals are supporting the Seychelles Health system and 15 Seychellois students undertake tertiary education in medicine in Cuba.

Minister Adam also indicated his wish for such partnerships to be further institutionalised and for more training opportunities to be explored. In the context of Seychelles this involves developing capacity for the Seychelles Hospital to become a teaching hospital.

Other areas addressed by Minister Adam include how climate change places more pressure on SIDS’ health systems and a serious need to divert resources away from treatment and prevention, flagging the ever increasing burden of noncommunicable diseases. He indicated the interest of Seychelles and other SIDS to use Cuban experiences of comprehensive treatment programmes for key diseases such as diabetes. The recently launched diabetes passport initiative is a means by which Seychelles is seeking to address both treatment and prevention among persons and families most at risk.

However, small island states continue to face procurement limitations for essential drugs and equipment due to their lack of economies of scale. It was in effort to improve on this that Minister Adam suggested SIDS build mechanisms for better leverage in procurement with the support of WHO and Latin American region through the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).

As the conference unfolds Minister Adam will continue to engage with his Cuban counterpart, as well as visit several institutions involved in the partnership between Seychelles and other countries. He is accompanied during his visit to Cuba by his Special Adviser, Dr. Loren Reginald and is also supported in Havana by the Charge D’Affaires if the Seychelles Mission, Mrs. Lalatiana Accouche.