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Introduce legislation to tackle NCDs – PAHO Director

Introduce legislation to tackle NCDs – PAHO Director

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The director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is calling on the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines to introduce legislation that will help to reduce the incidence of non-communicable diseases amongst the population.

Attending a PAHO Caribbean and sub-regional meeting of managers last Tuesday, Dr Carissa Etienne made the call while delivering her address.{{more}}

“We need to see legislation that is anti-tobacco. We need to see you implement some of what was in this Port of Spain Declaration,” Etienne challenged.

“We want to see you impose taxes on sugary food and fatty foods that are outside of a certain standard and limit. We will support you to the best of our ability… We need you to follow what Dominica and Barbados has done!”

She added: “If we are to ensure that our people are healthy, we have to create those healthy environments… We have to create those environments where the healthy choice is the easy choice.”

Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment Luke Browne also delivered the feature address at the meeting, pointing out that 2013 data indicates that non-communicable diseases account for 76 per cent of premature deaths (those in the 30 – 69 age bracket) in SVG.

“The gravity of the current epidemic of chronic non-communicable diseases and the burden being placed on citizens and national development is immediately obvious,” asserted Browne.

“We have lost so many relatives and friends as a result of diabetes, hypertension, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and other non-communicable diseases.”

He further said that even though some progress has been made on the issue within the local health sector, there is much more to be achieved. (JSV)

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