Federated States of Micronesia: One-Stop Shops for Diabetes Care
One in three people in Kosrae—one of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)—has diabetes. Diabetes can result in serious health complications, including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and foot and leg amputations. People with diabetes are also more likely to get contagious diseases such as tuberculosis (TB), flu, or pneumonia, which can require hospital care or even result in death. With a portion of its Preventive Health and Health Services (PHHS) Block Grant funds, FSM supported the Kosrae State Health Department to help improve care for patients with diabetes.
Kosrae’s three community health centers serve as a lifeline for primary healthcare across the islands. The centers promote chronic disease services and diabetes screenings in a variety of local settings, including employee worksites, community festivals, and health and fitness group gatherings. Residents receive screenings and listen to short talks about how to reduce their risk for diabetes, how to prevent obesity through healthy eating and exercise, and how to avoid the harmful effects of tobacco and alcohol. Staff members and outreach workers refer current and new patients to a diabetes clinic conveniently located inside each health center.
The diabetes clinics, known as One-Stop Shops, provide essential healthcare services, such as yearly check-ups and ongoing care for TB and foot and eye problems commonly associated with diabetes. Patients receive TB vaccines, annual flu shots, and dental services, along with information and counseling about managing their diabetes. Clinic staff members keep records on patient care, alert service providers to make follow-up appointments, and measure program progress using a registry system.
Kosrae also invests in training its public health workforce to meet the rising demand for quality diabetes care. Personnel learn how to provide primary health services and effectively serve the most people using limited resources. Internal staff members and community outreach workers receive cross-training for managing diabetes and checking for TB. Six staff members attended special training in the Marshall Islands for wound care and palliative care to improve the comfort and quality of life for patients.
In 2016, the Kosrae State Health Department made progress in improving the quality of patient care for more than 400 diabetes clients. The diabetes clinics provided 110 flu vaccines, 75 TB tests, and 55 foot examinations, reducing patients’ risks for life-threatening complications. With the support of PHHS Block Grant funds, Kosrae is saving lives and improving the quality of life for residents living with diabetes.
Story year: 2017