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SVG’s Health Minister attends Non-communicable diseases meeting in Mexico

SVG’s Health Minister attends Non-communicable diseases meeting in Mexico

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During the month of September 2011, world leaders will gather at the United Nations (UN), New York, to discuss global pathways to tackling Non-Communicable diseases (hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases and obesity, among others).{{more}} This historic UN meeting is a result of and comes on the heels of the Port of Spain Declaration by CARICOM heads in 2007. In preparation for this significant world event, Ministers of Health of Latin America and the Caribbean gathered at the Hotel Regis, Mexico City, in a meeting hosted by the Government of Mexico, to define the region’s position on a long term multi-sectoral plan for the management and control of Communicable diseases. The meeting was held on February 24 and 25, 2011.

The global burden of Non-Communicable diseases has been increasing world wide and accounted for 28 million deaths in 2007 and 5.1 million deaths in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean. In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, these diseases accounted for 37.4 percent of all deaths (769) during the year 2007. As noted by the Port of Spain Declaration, these diseases present a threat to the development of the region.

This Ministerial meeting addressed prioritized approaches to addressing the global response to Non-Communicable diseases, reviewed the protective factors for Non-Communicable diseases and shared experiences on effective interventions regarding the prevention, control and management of Non-Communicable disease in the region.

The meeting adopted a 7-page declaration which among other things, addressed childhood obesity, international partnerships in response to these diseases, the development and implementation of public policies aimed at stemming the tide of Non-Communicable diseases, implementing the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, healthy eating, physical activity and community participation, all response efforts. The Declaration also affirmed countries’ commitment to high quality health care, the inclusion of gender perspectives and the use of scientifically sound intervention to the prevention and control of Chronic Non-Communicable diseases.

Minister of Health Cecil McKie described the Ministerial meeting and its declaration as critical to the continuation of the Wellness Revolution and reaffirmed the commitment of the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to promoting public policies aimed at mitigating the effects of Chronic Non-Communicable diseases. The Medical Officer Health, Dr. Roger Duncan, accompanied Minister Mckie to the regional meeting.