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St Kitts and Nevis hosts first national conference to address the issue of non-communicable diseases

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BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (SKNIS) – The Ministry of Health in St. Kitts is taking concrete steps to further address the rising incidences of NCDs in the Federation with the staging of the first ever National Non-Communicable Diseases Conference taking place at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort from today, February 7-9, 2023.

During this important event, participants will seek to review and discuss the status of the NCD situation in St. Kitts and Nevis and solicit commitments from the various stakeholders to reduce the impact of NCDs in the Federation.

Prime Minister and Minister of Health, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, delivered the featured remarks at the opening session of the conference. There, the prime minister described NCDs as the greatest health challenge in St. Kitts and Nevis as they contribute to over 80 percent of all illnesses and deaths in the Federation.

“Non-Communicable Diseases, in particular diabetes and hypertension, are the leading cause of morbidity in the Federation. The NCDs are our biggest health challenge and, therefore, we have decided to commence this calendar year by hosting this Non-Communicable Diseases Conference. The purpose of this conference is to bring all stakeholders to the table and use a microscope to assess the current NCD situation in the Federation. We intend to review the Non-Communicable Diseases Surveillance System, NCD policy and legislative initiatives, the NCD interventions along with their successes, challenges and gaps. This conference, therefore, will provide the ideal forum for meaningful dialogue and participation,” said Prime Minister Drew.

The honourable prime minister lauded the Ministry of Health for taking such a comprehensive and collaborative approach to addressing the problem of NCDs in the country.

“What I see represented here today is exactly what should be the scenario of representation in that this cannot be a Ministry of Health alone or a government alone type of approach. This has to be a whole country’s approach. Your presence here today represents that. Non-Communicable Diseases, also known as chronic diseases, are major health challenges globally, regionally and locally. The government, private sector, civil society, regional and international partners must collaborate and adopt an integral approach in response to the major Non-Communicable Diseases including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, mental and substance abuse disorders,” said Prime Minister Drew.

The first National Non-Communicable Diseases Conference is being held under the theme, “Reviewing the Progress on the Prevention, Control and Management of Non-Communicable Diseases in St. Kitts and Nevis.”

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