Minister of Health, Donville Inniss (left), in conversation with Managing Director of the Wound Management Centre, Dr. Natasha Farnum, and Chairman, Bjorn Bjerkhamn at the launch. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Government will continue to support the endeavours of civil society groups as well as private sector organisations which introduce initiatives to enhance the delivery of health care in Barbados.

Minister of Health, Donville Inniss made this declaration yesterday, while speaking at the launch of The Wound Management Centre at Coverley Square in The Villages at Coverley.

He pointed out that the services provided by the newly opened centre, which has the capacity to reduce the time it takes to heal longstanding ulcers, were critical to the care of persons with sickle cell disease, peripheral vascular disease and diabetes.?? Care for the diabetic, he added, should reduce the need for amputation of limbs.

"Diabetes is currently among the top five causes of death in the country and also contributes to death from heart disease and stroke.?? Diabetes via the ???diabetic foot’ also remains the most common cause for limb amputation as well, accounting for the majority of the 180 to 200 amputations performed per year.?? Unfortunately, amputation is also a predictor of death with an estimated 60 per cent of individuals with a major amputation dying within five years of the procedure," the Minister explained.

Mr. Inniss also highlighted the fact that work done at the facility should see a significant reduction in the monies Government spent in the treatment of wounds and would, ultimately, see an improvement in the quality of life for persons receiving treatment.

"Work at such a centre has the capacity to reduce the healing time of longstanding ulcers or, as they have been fatalistically called in Barbados, life-sores, by the use of internationally accepted technology for cleaning or debridement of these chronic wounds.?? Impaired nutrition at the site of the ulcer and impaired ability to fight infection often results in a build-up of necrotic or dying tissue which, itself, delays or prevents wound healing and may end in amputation.

"Shorter healing times should allow more persons to benefit from the available resources and return treated individuals to productivity that much sooner, all redounding to the benefit of the country," he stressed.


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