WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health
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PERSPECTIVE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 34-39

Capacity-building of the allied health workforce to prevent and control diabetes: Lessons learnt from the National Initiative to Reinforce and Organize General Diabetes Care in Sri Lanka (NIROGI Lanka) project


1 NIROGI Lanka Project and Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo; Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
2 Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
3 Ministry of Health, Colombo, Sri Lanka
4 Healthy Life Style, Colombo, Sri Lanka
5 Family Health Bureau, Ministry of Health, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Correspondence Address:
Chandrika Wijeyaratne
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, PO Box 271, Kynsey Road, Colombo 008
Sri Lanka
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DOI: 10.4103/2224-3151.206550

PMID: 28604395

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In 2008, to tackle the exponential rise in the clinical burden of diabetes that was challenging the health systems in Sri Lanka, a shift in focus towards patient-centred care linked with community health promotion was initiated by the National Initiative to Reinforce and Organize General Diabetes Care in Sri Lanka (NIROGI Lanka) project of the Sri Lanka Medical Association. Specific training of “diabetes educator nursing officers” (DENOs), field staff in maternal and child health, footwear technicians, and health promoters from the community, was instituted to improve knowledge, skills and attitudes in the area of control and prevention of diabetes. This article highlights some of the activities carried out to date with the allied health workforce and volunteer community. Specifically, it describes experiences with the DENO programme: the educational and administrative processes adopted, challenges faced and lessons learnt. It also highlights an approach to prevention and management of complications of chronic diabetic foot through training a cohort of prosthetics and orthotics technicians, in the absence of podiatrists, and an initiative to provide low-cost protective footwear. Harnessing the enthusiasm of volunteers – adults and schoolchildren – to address behavioural risk factors in a culturally appropriate fashion has also been a key part of the NIROGI Lanka strategy.


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