PRESS RELEASE – The OECS Commission joins the OECS Health Policy Forum in congratulating the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and the Mount St John’s Medical Centre for successfully performing the island’s first kidney transplant.
OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules said the OECS Commission supported the Forum’s call for a seamless regional organ donor registry in the wake of the operation and would work closely with all stakeholders to formulate a viable proposal.
“This operation had ushered in a new era of health care proficiency within the region driven by a whole of Government approach in collaboration with local Health Authorities and Regional Health Coordinating Groups including the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA)” said Dr. Jules.
“The rise in chronic non-communicable diseases in the OECS such as diabetes, cancer and kidney disease require we work holistically across all strata of Government and employ new and innovative ways of addressing these health challenges given the fiscal and other resource constraints of Member States.
“The OECS Commission’s Health Unit is working closely with Chief Medical Officers and other stakeholders to further strengthen our associations with our global health development partners and to support proposals for centers of specialized medical care excellence in each OECS Member State”.
“This would also include formalising the call by the OECS Health Policy Forum for establishing a national and regional organ donor database, because as we know in the case of kidney disease, a transplant is significantly cheaper and less traumatic than keeping someone on haemodialysis.
“The re-modelling needed within the health care architecture of the region is being undertaken to ultimately ensure that every OECS citizen has access to affordable, quality health care and this achievement by the inspirational staff of the Mount St John’s Medical Centre is testament to that vision” said Dr. Jules.