Barbados supports PAHO policy to prevent NCDs among youth

Minister of Health and Wellness Barbados

Washington DC, 27th September 2023 (PAHO) - Barbados added its voice to those nations who supported the ‘Policy on Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults’, during the 60th Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization. 

Minister of Health and Wellness of Barbados, Senator Dr. The Most Hon. Jerome Walcott, said the policy can “greatly reduce the burden of NCDs in this younger demographic; a policy which is in consonance with Clauses 5 of the 2023 Bridgetown Declaration on NCDs and Mental Health.” 

The way forward, suggested the Minister, is to prevent non-communicable diseases by “creating public health policies that involve multiple sectors focusing on the social determinants of health, making positive environmental changes, and ensuring consistent policies across different government sectors.” 

Minister Walcott added: “The proposed policy offers guidance on how to develop and implement these interventions. The Government of Barbados therefore supports the innovative engagement of the youth through new and emerging media that has the reach to engage this segment of the population who have not traditionally been health seeking in their behavioural practices. 

Barbados’ Minister of Health and Wellness said other specific areas for consideration include tobacco prevention and control, addressing the external drivers that facilitate childhood obesity and adopting pragmatic policies to prevent harmful use of alcohol.  

“The youth must be engaged as part of this process and the Ministry of Health and Wellness is pleased to praise the leadership role played by the Healthy Caribbean Coalition through their youth engagement strategy. 

“PAHO has been supporting our work on baby friendly health care facilities and providing technical support for the implementation of our National School Nutrition Policy which was launched in March this year.” 

Minister Walcott deemed the policy one which proposes interventions that will “pay tremendous health dividends for future generations.”