Oranjestad, St. Eustatius – The Department of Public Health (DPH) successfully developed a National Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Multisectoral Action Plan (NCD MAP) through technical cooperation with the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). DPH and PAHO presented the NCD Plan to the Central Committee last week. This plan will assist Statia in its fight against NCDs and the associated risk factors. The urgency to tackle NCDs and risk factors has been highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic since globally, persons with NCDs are amongst most vulnerable.
PAHO states: “People with underlying health conditions, such as non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer, have a higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease, and more likely to die from COVID-19. Risk factors for NCDs can make people more vulnerable to become severely ill with COVID-19.”
“This startling statistic highlights the importance and shows the need to accelerate the implementation of this innovative NCD plan,” said the Director of Social Domain, Carol Jack-Roosberg.
This NCD plan, the first of its kind on the island, focuses on leadership and governance, prevention, care and management, mental health and disability and aging. Furthermore, this plan will address the Social and Environmental Determinants of Health and reinforce social inclusion and access to services for people in Sint Eustatius.
Additionally, the DPH, in collaboration with stakeholders continues to be involved in a variety of initiatives relating to the prevention and control of NCDs such as:
- community outreach for screening
- physical activity programs – aqua-aerobics and the provision of outdoor equipment
- healthy food demonstration – “Smaak lessen” (taste classes) intervention teaches primary school children interactively about the nutritional value of various foods and how to cook them, and
- interventions for youth incorporating strategies to build self-esteem – “Strong Roots” intervention focused on the development of self-worth and self-efficacy by avoidance of alcohol, tobacco and drug use.
Two activities they are currently working on with PAHO is the development of a nutrition booklet and the creation of a prevention program that will increase awareness of the importance of health and well-being, increase ability for early detection and building capacity of the health care team. For more information contact the Department of Health at +599-3182891, visit the office at the Cottageweg or view the website https://www.statiagovernment.com/key-topics/health
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