(PRESS RELEASE) – The Government of Saint Lucia, through the Ministry of Health, has prioritized the prevention, management and control of non-communicable diseases which are contributing to the majority of premature deaths occurring in the country.
The health profile of the Saint Lucian population is being significantly impacted by chronic non-communicable diseases. These chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, cancer, heart disease, and kidney disease.
This has placed great burden on individuals, families and health agencies. This reality has demanded a decisive call to action to halt this threat to health and well-being.
Achieving this change requires strong leadership and a coordinated effort to reverse the chronic disease epidemic. It is within this context that the Cabinet of Ministers recently appointed and installed a National Chronic Non-Communicable Disease Commission.
To prepare the Commission to undertake its role, a two- day training programme was hosted by the Ministry of Health and facilitated through a Chronic Disease technical expert from the Pan-American Health Organization.
This training took place on August 15 and 16, 2017 at the Public Service Training Room in Union.
District Medical Officer, Dr. Shana Cyr-Philbert says this is a multi-sectorial responsibility.
The Commission is chaired by Dr. Owen Gabriel, Consultant Oncologist alongside Commission representatives including the Ministry of Education, Agriculture, Attorney General’s Cambers, and Labour Department.
Non-governmental agencies which are members of the Commission include the Saint Lucia Diabetes and Hypertension Association and the Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Association.
The training provided members with an overview of the current status of the epidemic in Saint Lucia, the state’s chronic disease policy and legislative commitments, and provided strategies to create an environment more protective of the human health.
The Commission has a two year term in office which comes to an end in 2019.