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Health care professionals call for Diabetes Registry

There is support among American Samoa physicians and health care providers for the need to establish a local diabetes registry, which is something already established in other Pacific islands.


Support was revealed during Saturday’s inaugural Medical Symposium held at the Governor Rex Lee Auditorium, where LBJ Medical Center’s Dr. Ernest T. Oo cited the need for correct and accurate data as well as a diabetes registry.


Dr. Oo, chief of the Ophthalmology Department at LBJ, told the gathering that American Samoa must have a central diabetes registration system, which should be available to all doctors. Besides the diabetes registry, he also suggested the creation of a local diabetes association, to work alongside the national American Diabetes Association.


Dr. Akapusi Ledua, chief medical officer at LBJ, acknowledged the absence of a diabetes registry and therefore also a lack of sufficient data.


Dr. Bethal Muasau with OBGYN at LBJ, says she personally supports a registry and American Samoa needs help from outside organizations to achieve this project. She also said that some Pacific countries already have their own registries and a local registry should be available to all levels of government such as LBJ and the Health Department.


“This is how we get our data, more true data, about the problem in American Samoa,” she pointed out.


LBJ’s Dr. Mike Favazza, one of the two facilitators of the symposium, said a “registry for diabetes in the territory will be a fantastic thing. it will give us the tools that we need to see how we’re doing from now and into the future.”


“If we know where we are at now, as far as good, accurate, clean data, then we can see if the interventions that we’re trying to put together today, will work in the future,” he said.


Favazza also said that one of the most helpful things is a new computer system already at LBJ — the electronic medical records system — being extended to the Heath Department, saying he knows there is ongoing discussion between the bosses of LBJ and DOH about this issue.


He says there has been talk about this issue for years and hopefully soon, it will actually come to fruition.


Samoa News will continue to report on Saturday’s inaugural Medical Symposium throughout the week, highlighting key areas covered.