PRESS RELEASE – 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 and demanded a decisive call to action to halt this threat to health and well-being.
The government of Saint Lucia, through the Ministry of Health, has prioritized the prevention, management and control of non-communicable diseases which contribute to the majority of premature deaths in the country.
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. This Commission has been given the authority to advise and direct the road map for actions to prevent and control chronic disease through comprehensive approach involving all sectors.
To prepare the Commission to undertake its role, a two-day training programme was implemented by the Ministry of Health and facilitated through a Chronic Disease technical expert from the Pan-American Health Organization.
Training took place on August 15 and 16 at the Public Service Training Room in Union and 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 discussed strategies to create an environment more protective of the human health.
The Commission is chaired by Dr. Owen Gabriel, Consultant Oncologist, alongside Commission representatives, including the Ministry of Education, Agriculture, Attorney General’s Chambers, and Labour Department. Non-governmental agencies which are members of the Commission include the Saint Lucia Diabetes and Hypertension Association and Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Association.
The Commission has a two-year term of office which comes to an end in 2019.