Basseterre, St. Kitts: Stakeholders from across the Federation joined the region’s leading experts on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in St. Kitts on Tuesday, February 7, 2023, for a three-day conference, which was aimed at improving global understanding and deepening cooperation in the treatment and prevention of NDCs.
The conference, co-hosted by the Health Promotion Unit of the Federal Ministry of Health and Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Ministry of Health, allowed for in-depth dialogue on topics such as the status of the Federation with respect to NCDs, the development and recommendation of policy and legislative improvements, as well as a challenge to all stakeholders to commit to the sustainable implementation of programmes and activities designed to curb the impact of NCDs.
“My Cabinet is committed to facilitating training and development of Human Resource for Health to ensure delivery of high-quality health services to our chronically ill patients,” said Prime Minister and Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew while delivering remarks at the opening of the conference. “I believe that healthcare must be accessible to all, therefore, Universal Health Coverage is also one of my priorities.”
During the conference, presentations will be delivered by Dr. Hazel Laws, Chief Medical Officer; Dr. Sheneil Isles, Director of Community-Based Health Services; Dr. Taraleen Malcom, Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health Advisor; Dr. Heather Armstrong, Acting Head of Chronic Diseases, and Injury (CARPHA) and Dr. Marissa Carty, NCD Programme Coordinator.
“NDCs are a serious threat to local health and can have a devastating impact on individuals and families,” said Dr. Marissa Carty, NCD Programme Coordinator. “We want to empower individuals to take control of their health and take the necessary steps to prevent NCDs. This conference is a crucial step in determining the best way forward for stakeholders and healthcare service providers to work together to reduce the impact of NCDs.”
NCDs, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, are the leading cause of death worldwide and account for 80.7 % of all deaths in the Americas. The good news is that many NCDs can be prevented through the adoption of a healthy lifestyle, including regular physical activity, a balanced diet, and avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption.