The Periodic Health Maintenance and Examination organised by the Clinical Services Department, as an effective way to identify hidden risks of diseases and to help staff understand their individual health risks, was a tremendous success.
Lead by Dr Chibuike Okpara and supported by well-trained health facilitators, the staff PHME was conducted over a period of 4 and 5 days in Keneba and Fajara as part of The Unit’s corporate social responsibility under the MRC and ME wellbeing programme. The exercise was conducted to support wellbeing and improve the quality of life for staff and initiated in response to the high number of reported cases at the Staff Clinic of lifestyle-induced diseases such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, obesity, chronic back pain, and visual impairment.
Staff first completed an online- questionnaire and then were screened and examined for various non-communicable diseases and their risk factors. A health status printout containing some vital clinical and physical measurements were also issued to each staff member that participated.
The exercise was also a means of encouraging positive behavioural change towards wellness and healthy lifestyle. At the end of the examination, staff were advised based on their individual health-status.
In Keneba, 47% (112 Staff members) completed the online questionnaire and 43% (104 Staff members) completed all sections (online questionnaire, medical examination and counselling). In Fajara, 44% (269 Staff members) completed the online questionnaire and 41% (250 Staff members) completed all sections (online questionnaire, medical examination and counselling). The turnout was impressive, considering many staff members were on holiday, located in remote locations and some have a general apathy towards health-maintenance.
“We will now send out invitation to all those who were at risk of hypertension and diabetes (pre-hypertensive and pre-diabetes), as this group will require follow up to provide behavioural and life-style support with appropriate monitoring to mitigate their tipping over to the disease” explained Dr Okpara, Staff Doctor.
Staff members who have a blood pressure or blood sugar in the hypertensive or diabetic range will continue to be monitored and treated as needed at the Staff Clinic
The PHME for Basse, Farafenni, Bansang and Wali Kunda is scheduled for after the rainy season.