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Public Health Department holds Essential Public Health Function Workshop

Public Health Department holds Essential Public Health Function Workshop

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The functions of the Public Health Department in St. Vincent and the Grenadines were recently analyzed as doctors, nurses and other officials held an Essential Public Health Function Workshop.{{more}}

It was held at the Aquatic Club on Thursday, December 2.

The workshop included discussions on public health practices on a national and sub national level. Participants were also involved in the assessment of the public health practices in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with the aim of the country offering improved health care.

Anneke Wilson, Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) representative and facilitator of the workshop, stated that a measurement tool will be used to make a diagnosis of practices in areas to see where improvements can be made, and where assistance is needed by government.

Wilson stated that PAHO and the World Heath Organisation (WHO) initiative have defined 11 ‘Essential Public Health Functions’ and have developed a methodology that allows countries to evaluate their public health systems in a comprehensive manner. The 11 functions include areas such as monitoring, evaluation, and analysis of health status, strengthening of public health regulations and enforcement capacity and reduction of the impact of emergencies and disasters on health.

PAHO representative and facilitator Margaret Hazelwood outlining the methodology, stated that each function provides a yes or no option where participants will have to state the quality of the function in the country. Hazelwood reminded participants that they will not be assessing themselves, but rather the public health systems.

The participants were expected to discuss each of the 11 ‘Essential Public Health Functions’ in relation to the country and to come up with improvements which can be made. The two-day workshop also featured group discussions and activities.

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