Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): The doors of the Newtown and McKnight Community Centres were opened to a large number of residents who were able to receive free chronic kidney disease testing courtesy of the Caribbean Health and Education Foundation (CHEF), recently.
President of CHEF Odell Bussue explained that his organization is run by a Technical Advisory Board and a Board of Directors chiefly comprised of Doctors and Health Professionals. He noted that based on the health initiative being undertaken at that point in time, the appropriate experts would be consulted to give the best advice as to how to conduct the programmes. As such, for the chronic kidney disease testing, a nephrologist was brought in by CHEF who worked directly with the local nephrologist.
Mr. Bussue outlined the goal of his organization.
“My organization, our focus is on healthcare in the Caribbean Region,” Mr. Bussue noted. “So all of our funding, our support, or whatever we get, we are channeling that to the Caribbean Region, because we just want to focus on healthcare. So we focus on the burning issues in the Caribbean – chronic kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, breast cancer, prostate cancer, HIV/AIDS.
Persons who voluntarily attended the chronic kidney disease testing on March 20 first registered, had their Body Mass Index (BMI) calculated as well as had their blood pressure and sugar levels checked. Urinalysis as well as a micro-albumen tests were also conducted. Testing volunteers waited approximately 20 minutes before receiving their test results. Dr. Bussue explained what would occur if it was determined that there was chronic kidney disease.
“The next step is that they will speak to one of our nephrologists,” Mr. Bussue informed. “Presently we have two nephrologists, Dr. Deidre Cruz who is from John Hopkins University in the US and Bessie Young is the from Washington State Medical University, she’s at McKnight Community Centre and we have Dr. Cruz at this centre and we have Dr. Rodriquez who is the local nephrologist as well.”
Mr. Bussue explained that the chronic kidney disease testing is appropriate for persons who have diabetes or hypertension, have a family history of kidney disease. CHEF was assisted by volunteers from the medical universities on island, medical professionals and volunteers from community-based organizations.