The Ministry of Health has called on communities and civil society to support Government???s drive to promote health and wellness, by turning public health knowledge into public action.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joy St. John, told participants at a health and productivity workshop sponsored by the Barbados Workers??? Union, that greater responsibility was required by everyone, whether they operated in the health arena or not.
???All the health policies and programmes that are put in place require the necessary buy-in and adoption by Government, the private sector, non-governmental organisations and the general public in order for there to be meaningful reductions in chronic diseases,??? she submitted.
Dr. St. John said that these alliances were integral in addressing the social determinants of health, as well as assisting to fill crucial gaps in health services that were provided by organised health care.
She noted that Barbados was considered a leader in the Americas in terms of its response to non-communicable diseases because of initiatives such as the establishment of the National NCD Commission in 2007, and the creation of a registry for NCDs in 2008.
The launch of the Strategic Plan for Non-Communicable Diseases 2015 – 2019 was the most recent intervention.Despite these efforts however, the Chief Medical Officer disclosed that Barbados??? health profile as it related to NCDs reflected what was happening globally.
???The leading causes of sickness and death over the last 10 years were stroke, heart disease, diabetes mellitus and cancer???.One quarter of all Barbadians have at least one non-communicable disease and another one-quarter is at risk for developing one,??? she stated.
Dr. St. John reminded Barbadians that their quality of life was directly and indirectly affected by the choices they made and the health practices inculcated on a daily basis.
She applauded the workshop???s organisers for their initiative in addressing the issues but cautioned that total success could only be assured if the knowledge and skills acquired were implemented in the home and work environments of participants.??
She advised participants to use the knowledge gained ???to create a path of hope for a healthy life and a healthy nation???.