The Government of Saint Lucia through the Ministry of Health, has prioritized the management and control of chronic non-communicable diseases in order to reverse the epidemic.
Such diseases include diabetes, hypertension, cancer, heart disease, and kidney disease, and have significantly impacted the health of the Saint Lucian population, contributing to the majority of premature deaths in the country, and placing great burden on individuals, families and health agencies.
Consequently, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) yesterday concluded a two-day chronic disease training program. The session provided an overview of the current status of chronic non-communicable diseases in Saint Lucia, the state’s chronic disease policies and legislative commitments, and discussed strategies to create a protective environment for human health.
The program aimed to prepare members of the National Chronic Non-Communicable Disease Commission, appointed by Cabinet, in directing a plan for action to prevent and control chronic disease through a comprehensive approach involving all sectors. It was facilitated by a chronic disease technical expert from PAHO, and was held from Aug 15 and 16, at the Public Service Training Room in Union.
The chronic disease commission is chaired by Dr Owen Gabriel, Consultant Oncologist, with the help of commission representatives including the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Attorney General’s Chambers, and the Labour Department.
Non-governmental agencies include the Saint Lucia Diabetes and Hypertension Association and the Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Association.
The commission has a two-year term of office which comes to an end in 2019.