An ac­tion plan for Chronic Non-Com­mu­ni­ca­ble Dis­eases

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Chronic Non-Com­mu­ni­ca­ble Dis­eases (CNCD) came in for sharp fo­cus at a two-day con­sul­ta­tion or­gan­ised by the PAN Amer­i­can Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion. The aptly named, “Na­tional Stake­hold­ers Con­sul­ta­tion on Chronic Non-Com­mu­ni­ca­ble Dis­eases Pol­icy and Multi-Sec­toral Ac­tion Plan” brought to­gether a cross sec­tion of par­tic­i­pants in­clud­ing the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Ed­u­ca­tion, Health, So­cial Trans­for­ma­tion, the Saint Lu­cia Blind Wel­fare As­so­ci­a­tion, Di­a­betes and Hy­per­ten­sion As­so­ci­a­tion, the Lung and Heart As­so­ci­a­tion and faith-based or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Nurse Juli­eta Joseph, As­sis­tant Prin­ci­pal Nurs­ing Of­fi­cer in the Min­istry of Health, ac­knowl­edged that Glob­ally CNCDs rank as the num­ber one killer with the same trend re­flected in Saint Lu­cia.

“We have dis­eases such as di­a­betes, hy­per­ten­sion or car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases. We also have can­cers and other up­per res­pi­ra­tory dis­eases, for ex­am­ple asthma. These are the num­ber one killers in Saint Lu­cia, can­cer be­ing the most com­mon, and be­cause of that we see al­most eight per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion in Saint Lu­cia hav­ing di­a­betes.”

Joseph as­serted that the com­ing to­gether of all min­istries and or­gan­i­sa­tions to com­bat this na­tional prob­lem caused by CNCD can re­alise pos­i­tive out­comes for the na­tion.

“We may not be able to make CNCDs dis­ap­pear, al­though that’s our goal, but at least we can re­duce the in­ci­dence and preva­lence of CNCDs in Saint Lu­cia. So the Min­istry of Health is tak­ing this very se­ri­ously be­cause we can­not do it alone, be­cause we have rec­og­nized that the in­puts and part­ner­ships with other stake­hold­ers are crit­i­cal for re­duc­ing CNCDs. That’s the rea­son we have de­vel­oped a multi-sec­toral ac­tion plan and to­day we are here as stake­hold­ers to dis­cuss this ac­tion plan, to re­view it for peo­ple to be aware of their roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and to give con­sen­sus and com­mit­ment to this multi-sec­toral ac­tion plan.”

Dr. Tomo Kanda, PAHO’s Ad­viser on Non-Com­mu­ni­ca­ble Dis­eases, says this mul­ti­sec­toral ac­tion plan should span five years from 2016 - 2020. She stated that the pre­ven­tion and con­trol of CNCDs should not re­side solely with the Min­istry of Health; what is re­quired is the co­op­er­a­tion, part­ner­ship and com­mit­ment from other stake­hold­ers.

“Saint Lu­cia has been in­creas­ing in mor­bid­ity, mor­tal­ity be­cause of non­com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases par­tic­u­larly be­cause of un­healthy food, phys­i­cal in­ac­tiv­ity, al­co­hol con­sump­tion and to­bacco. So I think this is a time for Saint Lu­cia to act to­gether.”

The multi-sec­toral ac­tion plan will fo­cus on four ma­jor strate­gic lines of ac­tion in­clud­ing co­or­di­na­tion, re­duc­tion of risk fac­tors and im­prove­ment of pro­tec­tive fac­tors, health sys­tem re­sponse to NCDs and risk fac­tors and sur­veil­lance.

Dr. Kanda said, “In most of the Eastern Caribbean coun­tries the NCD pro­gramme is get­ting stronger. How­ever, two ex­treme pop­u­la­tions are still ne­glected: child and youth ado­les­cents and el­derly peo­ple. El­derly peo­ple liv­ing with chronic dis­eases is some­times be­yond adults liv­ing with chronic dis­eases ... St. Lu­cia has been work­ing very hard; how we can col­lect qual­ity data and how we can best uti­lize this col­lected data for timely, ef­fec­tive pol­icy de­vel­op­ment.”

It is ex­pected that the fi­nal pol­icy and multi-sec­toral ac­tion plan will be sub­mit­ted to the Cab­i­net of Min­is­ters for fi­nal ap­proval. The work­shop was held at the Car­di­nal Kelvin Fe­lix Pas­toral Cen­tre on April 27th and 28th, 2016.

For the fourth year First Cit­i­zens In­vest­ment Ser­vices held its Young Pro­fes­sion­als Sem­i­nar (YPS) to pro­vi­die young per­sons with the tools to bet­ter man­age their fi­nances. Held at Coco Palm on Thurs­day April 28th the sem­i­nar’s theme was “#OWNIT: Take Own­er­ship of Your Peace of Mind & Fi­nan­cial Free­dom!”

Pre­sen­ters in­cluded First Cit­i­zens Trader and Liq­uid­ity Man­age­ment Of­fi­cer Cindy Jn Bap­tiste, Client Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer Denise Lewis and the St Lu­cia De­vel­op­ment Bank’s (SLDB) Debbie John. Fea­tured speaker for the event was Shoe Re­hab Man­ager and Young En­tre­pre­neur of the Year 2016, Man­disa Mor­ri­son.

Spon­sored by The Cell, Strong­bow and Azuk Events, the sem­i­nar’s panel ad­dressed the main ob­jec­tive of help­ing young adults iden­tify and de­velop an early man­age­able plan to reach fi­nan­cial goals and po­si­tion them­selves for long-term suc­cess. The First Cit­i­zens team pre­sented on fi­nan­cial goals and rec­om­mended strate­gies that young peo­ple can adopt.

Debbie John tack­led the is­sue of fi­nanc­ing and out­lined the var­i­ous so­lu­tions avail­able through SLDB for mort­gages, busi­ness loans and other credit fa­cil­i­ties.

The star of the event was Man­disa Mor­ri­son who ex­cit­edly told the au­di­ence about her grow­ing busi­ness, Shoe Re­hab: a mod­ern day shoe restora­tion and en­hance­ment com­pany. She ex­plained the chal­lenges of be­ing an en­tre­pre­neur and gave some use­ful ad­vice on how to avoid pit­falls when con­sid­er­ing start­ing your own busi­ness. She de­tailed the in­spi­ra­tion for her busi­ness, the jour­ney thus far and the fu­ture plans for ex­pand­ing op­er­a­tions.

Some of the stake­hold­ers at­tend­ing last week’s con­sul­ta­tion.

L-R: Cindy Jn Bap­tiste, Debbie John, Man­disa Mor­ri­son, Tara Jn Phillip and Denise Lewis.

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