The Doobay Medical Centre will today begin facilitating a year-long study to identify and help manage risk factors for several chronic non-communicable diseases among Guyanese.
Under the study, 100 persons will be evaluated to see if they are at risk of experiencing a heart attack, stroke, heart disease, diabetes or hypertension in the future.
At a press briefing held at the Marriott Hotel, Head of the Doobay Medical Centre Dr. Budhendranauth Doobay noted that while they do not yet have the full complement of participants, they will be starting with family members of patients.
While the study is open to the general public, Dr. Doobay said persons whose families have a history of cardiac complications, diabetes, high cholesterol and kidney failure should take advantage and participate in the study as it is free. Additionally, if participants are found to have complications associated with any of the diseases, they will receive free treatment and medication for a year.
The research project will be overseen by Associate Program Manager at the Population Health Research Institute at the McMaster University in Canada, Dipika Desai, who told the press that while she and others will be monitoring the study, staff at the facility will be trained to collect the necessary data.
“We will be following up with patients throughout a 12-month period and we will be monitoring them and how they respond to medication,” Desai stated.
She explained that the “objective of the research is to determine and understand the risk factors that lead persons to suffer” from chronic non-communicable diseases and create baseline data. She said that data in the field is limited for the Guyana population.
“We came here last year, we met with patients and families and we decided that it was very important to determine what the risk factors are that bring persons to the end stage of renal dialysis. We have not found much information and we decided we have to start here with this research. We want to… help to understand what is causing this,” Desai said.
While they are looking to collect data, she noted that the study can also aid early detection and treatment of diseases.
“If we find a possible patient and medical treatment is required, we will be able cover the cost of medication because this is a trial research and there are provisions for that,” she noted.
She pointed out that the research team has received ethics approval from the McMaster University and the Ministry of Public Health.
At the end of the year’s study, the information gathered will be analysed and published.