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Self-Management of Chronic Diseases – the focus of a timely workshop at the Ministry of Health and the Environment

25th January 2016

The first of two (2) six-week Workshops on Self Management of Chronic Diseases began on Tuesday 19th January 2016 at the Ministry of Health and the Environment.

The workshops mainly target individuals affected by a chronic condition or their loved ones who are affected, to assist them with the necessary skills to better manage their condition.

The two Facilitators of the workshops are Acting Chief Nutrition Officer within the Ministry Susan Gardner and Nurse Practitioner Almarie Coates.

A study on chronic diseases which was conducted by the Stanford University resulted in the compilation of a Self Management programme (Self- Management manual).

The core component of the Self-Management Manual is a Management Tool Box, which is being used to impart important skills to the participants during the workshop.

The tool box covers topics such as mind-body connection/ distraction, getting a good night's sleep and introduction to the Action Plan.

Other aspects of the tool box` approach include problem solving, meditation and breathing techniques.

The workshops take the form of interactive and informative sessions as participants engage in group work and discuss the various challenges they encounter in managing their condition as well as their confidence level regarding adherence to proper diets and exercises which are important components in the management of chronic conditions or diseases.

Chronic conditions are quite common in the twin island state and based on an International study, 7.5% of the population have Diabetes Mellitus which is a major concern for all healthcare providers.

Gardner underscores the importance of the workshop.

"For chronic conditions managment, while the health care providers play an important role in the care and treatment of chronic diseases by advising the clients; self-management plays the major role since it's the clients who are the ones left with the everyday responsibility to manage their respective conditions" , Garner stated.

Gardner explained Week two will cover topics such as Dealing with difficult emotions, physical activity and exercise, feedback and problem solving.

Gardner is confident that persons completing the workshop will be better able to management their various condition in such a way that will allow them to live a fulfilled life.

The series of workshops is sponsored by the Ministry of Health and the Environment and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the lone agency in the region authorized to conduct such workshops.

For Further Information Contact:
Ms. Debbie Francis
Communications Officer
Ministry of Health & the Environment
Redcliffe Street, St. John's, Antigua
Tel: 1(268) 721-5904