Published 13 September 2023
Buckie Got It Media Source
PRIME MINISTER DR. DREW CALLS FOR INTENSIFIED ACTION TO ADDRESS THE CHALLENGE OF NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, September 13, 2023 (SKNIS) – On the heels of the observance of Global Week of Action on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), Prime Minister and Minister of Health, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew has issued a call for a more intensified fight against the threat of NCDs.
“The Ministry of Health continues to strengthen its partnerships with regional and international health partners and is committed to forging new partnerships with NGOs and civil society because we know that an integrated approach is necessary to win this battle. I fully understand that the time for caring is now. The time to act on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is now. The time to intensify the fight against the NCDs is now,” said Prime Minister Dr. Drew in his address to mark the 2023 observance of Global Week of Action on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
The week runs from September 14 to 21. The annual observance seeks to ensure NCD prevention and management get the attention and action they deserve globally.
In St. Kitts and Nevis, NCDs such as diabetes and hypertension are the leading causes of morbidity. Between 2017 and 2021, NCDs accounted for 84.2 percent of reported deaths.
Prime Minister Dr. Drew said the Ministry of Health has employed a three-pronged comprehensive approach to the NCD challenge.
“The aim is to: (1) reduce the burden of NCDs by promoting healthy lifestyles; (2) reduce the prevalence of the common NCD risk factors and (3) provide integrated evidenced-based treatment options,” the prime minister said.
Among the interventions implemented by the ministry to combat the burden of NCDs in the Federation are the implementation of the SKN Moves, the development of a Sugar Sweetened Beverage (SSB) policy aimed at reducing consumption of SSBs and a tobacco policy aimed at reducing tobacco use and reducing exposure to secondhand smoke, and the scaling up of public education and health promotion campaigns using all media platforms to encourage a healthy lifestyle.
“The next step will be to scale up the treatment and management of patients who are already diagnosed with non-communicable diseases through the launch of the HEARTS Initiative. The HEARTS initiative is a standardized programme of care for the evidenced-based management and control of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors,” added Prime Minister Dr. Drew.
The honourable prime minister assured citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis that his administration will continue to invest the necessary resources to combat the threat of NCDs.
PRIME MINISTER HON. DR. TERRANCE DREW