Territorial Summit on Chronic Diseases received strong support

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Friday May 28, 2010 - The Territory’s first summit on chronic diseases received strong support from both government and non-government leaders.

Dubbed Territorial Summit on Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases for the Virgin Islands, Tuesday’s opening was attended by His Excellency the Governor David Pearey; Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE; Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Social Development Honourable Dancia Penn, OBE, QC; Minister of Communications and Works Honourable Julian Fraser, Territorial-at-Large Representative Honourable Irene Penn-O’Neal, and Cabinet Secretary Mr. Otto O’Neal, among other senior representatives from Government and the private sector.

The Summit’s goal was to sensitise Cabinet and other stakeholders on the chronic disease situation in the Territory, as well as the need for corrective policies and programmes to prevent and control of those diseases and their risk factors. Its expected results were a Government Declaration on chronic diseases, endorsement of the proposed NCDs strategy for the Virgin Islands, and signing of a pledge by partners to support the local Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases Strategy.

Chairman of the local Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Task Force and member of the House of Assembly Dr. the Honourable Vincent Scatliffe chaired the Summit that took place on Tuesday, 25 May in the Long Bay Beach Resort’s conference room.318R/10 Page 2 May 28, 2010.

Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE commended the Ministry of Health and Social Development on the initiative. “I applaud the Ministry for making this move. Although you will not see a building go up this is very important. I anxiously await the meeting’s final report,” he said.

Meanwhile Honourable Dancia Penn underscored her support for the meeting. She said “today is an important day for me since the prevention of chronic non-communicable diseases and their control is one of the issues which I have placed very high on my agenda as Minister.”

The one-day Summit featured an expert panel of local, regional, and international health experts that included the Territory’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Irad Potter, Dr. Rudolph Cummings of the CARICOM Secretariat, Dr. A. Ballyram of the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute who participated in a panel discussion entitled Developing Inter-sectoral Policies to Improve Health: The Significance of the Declaration of Port-of-Spain for the Improvement of Health and the Prevention on NCDs.

Director of Secretarial for the British Columbia, Health Living Alliance Mary Collins also delivered a presentation entitled A Non-Communicable Disease Strategy for the Virgin Islands via video link from Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Summit was one of the requirements proposed by the CARICOM Heads of Government Non Communicable Disease Summit which was held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago in 2007.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 June 2010 16:38