Managing morbidity in the Maldives
4 May 2007
A World Bank project aimed at managing the increasing morbidity and mortality of non-communicable diseases in the Maldives will use ICPC Plus, a coding and classification system designed by the Family Medicine Research Unit of the University of Sydney.
Dr Kumara Mendis, Senior Lecturer in the School of Rural Health, Faculty of Medicine and an expert in medical informatics and primary care has just returned from an initial visit to the Maldives as part of the international group, Health Policy Research Associates (HPRA) responsible for the health sector of the World Bank initiative.
“The Maldives has one of the fastest growing economies in the developing world (6-7%), and with the affluence come the non-communicable diseases, specifically hypertension, diabetes mellitus, ischaemic heart disease, asthma & chronic obstructive pulmonary disease” says Dr Mendis.
During the initial visit to the Maldives Dr Mendis visited the main general hospital (with 300 beds), regional hospitals (30-40 beds) and atoll hospitals (2-5 beds) to determine the infrastructure and human resources available. At the conclusion of the visit the Ministry of Health and HPRA agreed on the five priority non-communicable diseases.
As an interface terminology, ICPC Plus can be used in primary care electronic patient record systems by different countries. In the Maldives it will be used to implement a basic visit record in out patients departments and to connect electronic guidelines for non-communicable diseases. The Maldives project may provide a model for other medium developed countries in the region.