NHF’s QMS is ISO 9001:2015 Certified

Government of Jamaica

NHF TRAINS HEALTH PROVIDERS AHEAD OF INTRODUCTION OF THE HAEMOGLOBIN A1c TEST BENEFIT FOR DIABETICS.

NHF TRAINS HEALTH PROVIDERS AHEAD OF INTRODUCTION OF THE HAEMOGLOBIN A1c TEST BENEFIT FOR DIABETICS.

The National Health Fund (NHF) this week carried out training of one hundred and ninety nine (199) health providers on how to conduct the Haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test and the proper use and care of the test kits. This is in preparation for the introduction of this test as a benefit to diabetics with the NHFcard. The HbA1c test is considered ?the gold standard? measurement used to monitor the blood glucose levels in diabetics and thereby assist them to improve gylcemic control and reduce the risk of diabetic complications.

It is a simple needle stick blood test that shows the average blood glucose level over the last 3 months and indicates if a person?s blood glucose level is within the normal range or exceeds the normal limit.

According to Mr. Cecil White, NHF Vice-President of Operations, ?The introduction of the HbA1c test, is a reflection of the seriousness with which the NHF views diabetes, a catastrophic disease which affects all systems of the body and increases the risk for other chronic diseases.?

Five workshops were held across the island in St. Ann?s Bay, Montego Bay, Mandeville and for doctors, nurses, and laboratory technicians. The training sessions were conducted by Mr. Kim Romark of Axis- Shield, the manufacturer, and Mr. Imran Ali of JT Rapid Diagnostics, the Caribbean distributor, who have partnered with the NHF to provide the NycoCard ReaderII testing instrument that is being used in the programme.

All diabetics enrolled for the NHFcard will be allowed two subsidised tests annually as the Benefit from participating NHF Providers including hospitals, laboratories, medical practitioners and other authorised medical facilities.

Mr. Rae Barrett, CEO of the NHF says ?Through this added benefit, the NHF expects the cost of the HbA1c test to NHFcard Beneficiaries to reduce by 80% to 90%. By supplying Providers with the instrument free of charge and covering the cost of test kits and consumables with the NHF subsidy, the cost of tests will be more affordable thereby increasing the frequency of tests done to improve the management and care of diabetics. This new benefit will help to reduce the costs of diabetes and its associated long term complications.?

Health Providers wishing to participate in the programme must be trained to use the testing instrument and must sign a contract with the NHF to deliver the service. NHF will loan the instrument to the Providers who will purchase the Test Kits and all consumables from the local distributor HD Hopwood.

Dr. Orville Nembhard from Health Plus Associates who participated in the training programme says ?the NHF HbA1c Benefit will allow my practice to offer more to the diabetic patient and provide feedback on their blood sugar control during their office visit thereby facilitating improvement in the management of their condition?. He praised the NHF for the introduction of this Benefit and noted that, especially for rural areas where there are no laboratory facilities nearby, diabetic management of patients will be greatly enhanced.

Contact: Rosemarie Lee, Public Information Officer (876)906-1106

Shermaine Robotham, Public Relations Agent (876)997-5442

National Health Fund © 2024. All Rights Reserved.