Published 22 September 2023
Buckie Got It, St Kitts Nevis News source
Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew, Champions Universal Health Coverage at High-Level Meeting
Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew delivers CARICOM resolution at a High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage at UNGA 78
New York, NY, USA, September 21, 2023 (Press Secretary, PMO)— Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew, in his capacity as Lead Head with responsibility for issues pertaining to Human Resource Development, Health, and HIV/AIDS, in the CARICOM Quasi Cabinet, shared with world leaders the CARICOM resolution at a High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage, themed “Expanding Our Ambition for Health and Well-Being in a Post-COVID World.”
The meeting held during the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, which brought together distinguished leaders, policymakers, and experts in the field of healthcare, was convened to address critical issues surrounding universal health coverage, especially in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew, Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, and Senior Foreign Officer Samuel Berridge (back)
Dr. Drew delivered a powerful address on behalf of the fourteen Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), emphasizing the critical importance of universal health coverage and its impact on global well-being.
“Four years ago, we committed to moving together to build a healthier world through universal health coverage. Sadly, at the current pace of progress, up to one-third of the world’s population will remain underserved by 2030, and there has been minimal or no progress on service coverage since 2019, largely because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Prime Minister Drew added, “Non-communicable diseases account for 74% of all deaths worldwide, and universal health coverage cannot be fully realised until NCD prevention and control are addressed, globally, in a comprehensive manner. CARICOM, as a region with a high non-communicable disease burden, continues to prioritize primary and specialized health services for the prevention, screening, treatment, and control of NCDs, including risk factor reduction and prevention, in its health policies. We will continue to champion this cause.”
Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew presenting at the High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage at UNGA 78
In his statement, he highlighted the urgent need for collective action to ensure access to essential health services for all, particularly in light of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is a fact that ill health can be both a cause and a consequence of poverty. This is the reality. We are deeply concerned that 4.4% of the global population in 2019 was pushed further into extreme poverty due to out-of-pocket health expenses. It is likely that this number substantially increased during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. We must ensure that the realization of the right of everyone, especially the poor and vulnerable, to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, without financial hardship”, said Dr. Drew.
The High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage serves as a pivotal platform for shaping the future of healthcare in the CARICOM region.
The Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew’s active involvement in this initiative reinforces his dedication to the well-being and prosperity of the people he serves, both in Saint Kitts and Nevis and throughout the wider CARICOM region.