PRESS RELEASE: The Minister of Health and Wellness, Senator Hon. Mary Isaac and Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Sharon Belmar- George attended the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Conference on Non-Communicable Diseases in Montevideo, Uruguay from October 18-20, 2017.
Non communicable diseases are a serious public health concern both globally and locally and represents a major health challenge and global burden.
The conference included the participation of 94 member states, relevant organizations of the UN System, selected non- state actors including non-governmental organizations, private sector, philanthropic foundations and academic institutions.
The goal of the conference was to highlight critical links between reducing premature deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCD), promoting mental health and well-being and enhancing policy coherence across areas that impact the governance, prevention, management and surveillance of NCD’s.
The conference included 3 segments:
- Dialogue of Member States, United Nations Organizations and non- State actors.
- Ministerial Segment for Member States and United Nations Organizations at the level of Ministers and National NCD Directors.
- High-level Segment for Member States and United Nations Organizations at the level of Heads of State and Government and Heads of UN organizations.
During the Global Conference on NCD’s guidance was provided to Member States on the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 3.4 by 2030 (which is to reduce by one third premature mortality from NCD’s through prevention and treatment) by influencing public policies in sectors beyond health and enhancing policy coherence. The health sector was highlighted as the key advocate for the attainment of SDG target 3.4.
A new set of global initiatives were launched to help countries accelerate their progress to date, in reducing premature mortality from NCD’s and fast track their efforts to attain SDG target 3.4.
National experiences were exchanged in enhancing policy coherence to attain nine voluntary global NCD targets for 2025.
On day one of the Conference, Minister Isaac made a presentation on “Best Practices, Lessons Learned and Innovation in Saint Lucia’s approach to NCD’s”.
The health team was also able to attend discussions on the management of people centered primary care, looking at integrated approaches , the use of taxes on tobacco and unhealthy products to finance national NCD responses and the promotion of mental health and well-being, using community approaches.
Based on the discussion in Uruguay, recommendations will be made to Saint Lucia’s NCD committee for implementation and strengthening of the existing strategies.
For more information, please contact the Bureau of Health Education, at the Ministry of Health and Wellness at telephone number 468-5349.