St Kitts and Nevis Forum for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control
On 14th November 2019, we were delighted to have been able to attend the Forum for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control which was hosted by the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund in partnership with the Ministry of Health in St Kitts and Nevis.
This event aimed to bring together both local and international organisations working in the field to share their experiences, present their work and thus provide a platform to learn, share best practices, promote regional collaboration and identify the best way forward in tackling chronic diseases in St Kitts and Nevis.
This was a very important event as chronic diseases are a major cause of death in St Kitts and Nevis – 83% of deaths in the Federation are due to chronic diseases. Therefore, the prevention and control of these conditions is a major priority for the Ministry of Health and the ICDF is working towards supporting the government to strengthen its non-communicable disease (NCD) strategy.
Over the three days of the forum, in attendance were representatives from CARPHA, the Ministries of Health of Belize, St Vincent and the Grenadines and St Kitts and Nevis; the JNF Hospital in St Kitts; the St Kitts Diabetes Association, Community Health Centres in St Kitts and Nevis and the Taipei Veterans General Hospital.
We attended on the second day of this event. The theme for the day was: ‘Chronic Disease Management – Where to Go?’ This was an excellent and informative day featuring presentations from:
- Dr Bichara Sahely, Consultant Physician, Internal Medicine, JNF Hospital, St Kitts
- Dr Aljay Pierre, Medical Officer, Internal Medicine, JNF Hospital, St Kitts
- Dr Wei-Cheng Tseng, Taipei Veterans General Hospital
- Dr Hazel Laws, Chief Medical Officer, Ministry of Health, St Kitts
- Dr Marissa Carty, NCD Program Coordinator, Ministry of Health, St Kitts
- Mr Feng-Ta Tsai, Project Manager, Taiwan, ICDF
Together, the speakers provided an overview of the position around NCDs and made recommendations for what is required going forward if we are to effectively reduce the burden caused by NCDs. The take-home message of the day was the need for a greater focus on NCD prevention as most countries in the Caribbean will not be able to address NCDs with medical care alone.
The event ended with a very lively Q&A and panel discussion, giving the audience the opportunity to engage with the speakers and collectively explore solutions to addressing NCDs.
We very much enjoyed attending this event and found the presentations from Dr Sahely and Dr Pierre, particularly insightful. They both provided a very interesting perspective from doctors working on the frontline at the JNF Hospital to diagnose, treat and support patients. They highlighted that there is much work to be done in the Federation and this will involve improvements and changes to the system to facilitate prevention, early diagnosis, better management of patients with NCDs and an improvement in the quality of care delivered.
We look forward to playing our own very small part in tackling NCDs and would like to thank the ICDF and Ministry of Health for organising this event.