The establishment of a national commission to oversee the management, prevention and control of chronic non-communicable diseases is on the drawing board for the Ministry of Health.

Word of this has come from Minister of Health, Jerome Walcott while speaking at a lecture by Director Emeritus of the Pan American Health Organisation and Chairman of the Caribbean Commission on Health and Development, Sir George Alleyne, at the Sherbourne Conference Centre, last evening.

According to Mr. Walcott, his ministry was taking the necessary steps to have in place the types of structures that would support the creation of the commission to ensure that it was capable of effectively executing its mandate.

“The commission will oversee the strengthening of national chronic non-communicable diseases policies, plans and programmes ….The new structures will include an inter-ministerial committee of national focal points that will coordinate the implementation of projects in key ministries. I look forward to naming the members of the commission in the coming months”, said the Health Minister.

In his s Health = Wealth synthesis of the Report of the Caribbean Commission on Health and Development and its Relevance to Barbados, Sir George Alleyne reveals that chronic non-communicable diseases are the major contributors to overall mortality and morbidity in the Caribbean.

He postulates that “there is a critical need to treat these diseases appropriately when they occur and to establish surveillance systems for lifestyles or behavioural risks as well as injury and violence to inform policy-making as well as public education.”

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