Eastern Caribbean countries analyze aging, human rights and policy development
St Kitts and Nevis took the lead in the Eastern Caribbean in moving towards the implementation of the “Plan of action on the health of Older Persons, including active and healthy aging” approved during the 49th Directing Council (28 Sept- 2 Oct, 2009).
The St Kitts and Nevis Ministry of Health and Social Development organized a national consultation to discuss their policy draft on aging from Oct 20 to 22, 2009. The document “National Policy on Aging, 2009- 2019 – Towards a society for all ages” was discussed by more than 60 participants representing a wide range of institutions, public and private sector, NGOs, Older Persons, as well as health, legal, social and community development sectors of the government.
Representatives from Dominica, St Vincent, St Lucia, Grenada, Anguilla, Montserrat, Antigua, Curacao and Trinidad and Tobago also participated as an effort to promote cooperation among countries. PAHO regional advisors on human rights and healthy aging together with the advisor on Family and Community from the PAHO office for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean provided direct support for the implementation of this important activity.
Key issues actively discussed during the consultation were: human rights and health; the current situation of the region initiative to have a Convention for the rights of older persons; Primary health care and aging; long term care for older persons; and the Trinidad & Tobago experience on community based care program for older persons.
Participants’ inputs and recommendations will be used to update the current policy draft and a final revised version will be presented to Cabinet for approval by December 2009. Other Eastern Caribbean countries and territories are in the process of updating or developing their aging policy documents and their participation in St Kitts meeting has created a special momentum to move forward the health agenda for older persons in this part of the region.
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