Director of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) Dr. Carissa Etienne concluded her visit to St, Lucia yesterday, September 17, stating that she is impressed with the New National Hospital and pleased with the direction of the Ministry of Health.
During her visit, Dr. Etienne engaged in discussions with the Ministry of Health and government about the various health programmes in the communities and at the New National Hospital.
“I am very encouraged by the work that the Ministry of Health is doing overall for the health and well-being of the people of St. Lucia,” she added.
Dr. Etienne toured various health institutions which included: the Canaries and Soufriere Health Centres, the St, Jude Hospital and the New National Hospital.
The director explained that the New National Hospital is impressive and considers it to be a sizable investment. She noted that the equipment seen at the new hospital is at the standard of any developed country.
“It is clear that at the very high priority of the Ministry of Health is the community, ensuring that there is access to services, particularly at the first level of care, improving the infrastructure at the community level, but also ensuring that there is adequate and appropriate referrals for those who needs to seek secondary and tertiary care,” she added.
Dr. Etienne said greater emphasis should be placed on the control, prevention and health promotion of chronic and non-communicable diseases.
“This is an urgent, urgent need in our country and the Caribbean that we come together to ensure the prevention and control of chronic diseases,” the director stressed.
Dr. Etienne arrived in St. Lucia on Sunday, September 14 for a two-day official visit.