Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Include NCDs in national developmental plans

Addressing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) must be included in the National Developmental Plans of Barbados and other islands in the region if we are going to successfully tackle these diseases.

This is the belief of Professor Sir Trevor Hassell, President of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) who delivered the feature address at a Health and Lifestyle Expo recently in Barbados.

He said that this is imperative in ensuring that each stakeholder knows the role that they have to play in addressing the obstacles that the islands in the region face when combating NCDs.

“These challenges and issues must be addressed, and to do so requires information and education of all stakeholders so that they appreciate the roles that they each can play in the multi-sector approach. Failure to do so will result in unnecessary illness and death and an undue hindrance to development,” he revealed.

Hence, he is calling for the various issues, obstacles and possible solutions to be included in the National Development Plans for Barbados and the rest of the region as early as 2015.

“It is for this reason that I advocate and call for the inclusion of the NCDs in National Development Plans of Barbados and other Caribbean countries, and in the Millennium Development Goals due to be renegotiated next year.”

He further pointed out that the need for such plans was first called for at the Heads of Government of CARICOM Summit in Port-of-Spain (POS), 2007 which included the establishment or advancement of already established National Commissions.

“Against this background the Heads of Government in the POS Declaration called for a specific mechanism to be put in place across the Caribbean to advance the multi-stakeholder response to NCDs and thus they said and I quote ‘we strongly encourage the establishment of National Commissions on NCDs or analogous bodies to plan and co-ordinate the comprehensive prevention and control of chronic NCDs,’” he stated.

Professor Sir Hassell stated that putting these plans in place would be especially crucial at this juncture because as we battle with other nations to overcome this global economic crisis, it is the perfect opportunity to see exactly how this economic situation can be made worse for the region if we do not effectively address these NCDs.

“And so there are many challenges, but many opportunities, but as I said on another occasion recently, I sense that we are reaching a positive tipping point in our responses to the NCD epidemic. The broader national economic challenges being experienced provides us with an opportunity to assess the economic impact of NCDs on the financial health of the country and perhaps provides a window of opportunity to take decisions likely to have a long-term positive impact on the health of our people.” (PJT)

No comments:

Post a Comment