by Curlan Campbell
- IHS location at Grand Etang Road, St George’s inspected for readiness
- HIS facility currently provides haemodialysis treatment to 18 patients
- Nationwide inspections of all workplaces and institutions ongoing prevent further spread of coronavirus
Island Health Services (IHS), providers of haemodialysis treatment, has been approved by the Ministry of Health after an inspection was conducted to evaluate the health facility’s readiness in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Following a tour of the facility, Acting Medical Director, Dr Tyhiesia Donald, and Chief Environmental Health Officer, Andre Worme, conducted the inspection at the new location at Grand Etang Road, St George’s.
These rapid health facility inspections are deemed necessary to ensure that all comply with the Covid-19 regulations by assessing their planning, preparedness and availability of basic hygiene and health supplies in place to prevent any further spread of the coronavirus.
Dr Donald commended the management and staff of IHS for the proactive steps taken to ensure that they are Covid-19 ready, and offered some advice on ways that the facility can further ensure its security protocols. “We have noted that generally speaking the facility is Covid-19 ready. However again due to limitations following the lockdown process, we noted that there should be some changes in terms of installing automatic dispensers for both soap and hand sanitisers… but all in all, they are Covid ready.”
Dr Donald noted that this level of inspections of all workplaces and institutions nationwide will be ongoing as the island gradually resumes normal operations following the period of lockdown. She said the Ministry of Health will be more visible within various communities carrying out inspections to ensure that all institutions are Covid-19 ready. “What is happening now is that all the different sectors will receive different training sessions so that they will know what is required to keep their environment safe, and how to become Covid-19 ready. So, people in the public will notice that different people from the ministry will be going to all the different facilities, not only health facilities, but all other facilities.”
Assistant Facility Administrator and Lead Patient Care Technician at IHS, Daniel Richardson, was pleased with the ministry’s approval. “98% of the recommendations that were made, we would have already had in place however due to Covid-19 there was a pause on a lot of things, but generally we are both on the same track so we are hopeful that we can work along with the Ministry of Health to better provide services to our patients especially if we do end up having to treat a Covid patient,” Richardson said.
IHS continues to focus more on promoting a patient-centred approach to healthcare for dialysis patients, in a bid to prevent patients from reaching end-stage renal failure which would require haemodialysis treatment. The facility currently provides haemodialysis treatment to 18 patients.
“Our youngest patient in their early 20s and we do have our oldest patient in their early 80s, but we do find that the average age range of our patients is between 45 and 60. A lot of those are based on lifestyle diseases or hereditary, so uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension, or sometimes they may fall victim to hereditary diseases, for example, polycystic kidney disease which we do see a lot of in Grenada as well,” Richardson said.
As part of preventive care, the IHS works in conjunction with the Grenada National Patients Kidney Foundation (GNPKF) to encourage the relatives of patients with polycystic kidney disease to get regular screening.
“We try to advise people through the Grenada National Patients Kidney Foundation (GNPKF), that if they are aware that a family member is diagnosed with kidney failure, that they should start getting checked as often as possible to see if it’s hereditary, or if it’s based on a lifestyle disease,” said Richardson.
Meanwhile, Grenadian nationals residing overseas will be able to continue their haemodialysis treatment while visiting the island as the IHS facility will be able to accommodate them.