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PRESS RELEASE – Nurses, community health aids, policemen, teachers, doctors, members of the St. Lucia Arthritis and Lupus Association (SLALA) as well as community volunteers were among the group of twenty five (25) who recently graduated from the Stanford University’s Chronic Self Management Programme which has been locally dubbed “Vive Byen.”
Participants have conducted over twelve (12) workshops and trained over 80 persons in managing their chronic illnesses since the commencement of the programmge in June of 2014.
Dr. Amanda King, President of the St. Lucia Arthritis and Lupus Association while congratulating the participants acknowledged the support given to her association in raising over $100,000 for the execution of the Chronic Disease Self Management Programme.
“We recognized many years ago that knowing you have a disease and taking control of it as two very different things. I can diagnose somebody with diabetes for example and give them all he facts about diabetes. I can give you the best medicine and exercise, tell you to eat well but does it mean that you are going to go out there and put it into practice.”
“ There is a gap between what the health professional does and what happens to the patient. We realize that and the Ministry of Health realizes that, we need to put the patient at the head of the management team and empower him or her to make good decisions and that’s what the Chronic Disease Self Management Programme is all about Stanford’s Chronic Disease Self Management Programme is the best recognized in the world and it has been implemented in most parts of the world but in fact St. Lucia is the only Caribbean island and the first in even in Latin America to implement this programme.” Dr. King noted.
Minister for Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations, Hon. Alvina Reynolds challenged the participants to continue to do more and double the number of persons receiving chronic disease self management training at the soonest.
“Its good to partner and share resources and I am really proud of the programme because of what it entails, empowerment of people and I think health empowerment is the best kind of empowerment you can give because without health what is there?”
“It is very difficult to bring about behaviour change, knowledge alone doesn’t cut it and I think that’s why the programme is so important and so effective because it brings the component of life skills, the decision making the critical thinking and problem solving.”
“It allows you to give people that sense of knowing how to, when to and what to do as it pertains to health and wellness and managing self. So if one person in the family can learn to manage self that can spread throughout the entire family,” the Minister noted.
With the development of locally trained Master Trainers and Trainers, president of the St. Lucia Arthritis and Lupus Association envisages that the programme will grow exponentially with at least two (2) similar training programmes on Chronic Disease Self Management conducted per year. The Awards Ceremony took place on Thursday November 13th, 2014, in the Conference Room of the Ministry of Education on the Waterfront in Castries.
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