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What is the population’s state of health? What are the causes of chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes or certain cancers? What is the link between these pathologies and our lifestyle? These are, among others, the questions that HUG’s population epidemiology unit attempts to answer. To this end, it regularly invites the Genevan population to take part in health surveys and examinations.
In 2016, it notably conducted a study aiming to understand how colon cancer was perceived by the population and how people understood its screening. The aim was to gather the information required for considerations within the framework of the implementation of the cantonal colorectal cancer screening programme. In 2016, the unit also assessed the Genevan population’s vaccine coverage. Finally, it focused on the impact of smoking on the environment.
in 2016, 1,014 people took part in population health examinations and surveys
Established at the heart of a cosmopolitan city, HUG welcomes numerous non-French-speaking patients. In order to be able to give them clear and precise information, doctors and healthcare practitioners regularly call on the services of interpreters. This service, which is free of charge for the patient, is being used more than ever: in 2016, over 35,000 hours of interpreting, in 58 different languages, were counted, i.e. more than twice that in 2010.
Given the increase in needs, two service providers now share the interpreting services. In order to facilitate the organization of these sessions, they offer an online calendar that makes the appointments with interpreters much easier and makes it possible to save a lot of time and simplify the administrative steps.
HUG’s population epidemiology unit also plays a role in promoting health, regularly inviting the Genevan population to come for free screening tests. In order to encourage participation, these actions are generally carried out in the city, thanks to the Health Bus, a real mobile medical unit.
In 2016, HUG took part, in collaboration with the Genevan Diabetes Association, in three days of diabetes screening. 815 participants benefited from a glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) test that delivers results in a few minutes. Another day was devoted to diabetic retinopathy screening. Without treatment, this ocular involvement caused by diabetes leads to a significant reduction in vision, even blindness.
Finally, Genevans were invited to have their beauty spots examined with a view to detecting any melanoma. Although it is extremely dangerous, this skin cancer can be cured if it is identified and removed at an early stage.
170 people received free HIV screening on World AIDS Day (1/12/2016)