Anguilla Joins in World Health Day Celebrations 2016 April 7th 2016

anguillian
By anguillian April 18, 2016 10:33 Updated

 

 

hh On April 7th 2016, Anguilla joined in the worldwide celebration of World Health Day which focused on diabetes, a chronic ailment plaguing the people here in Anguilla. The World Health Organisation has encouraged countries through its messages to “Beat Diabetes: scale up prevention, strengthen care, and enhance surveillance”. With this focus in mind; the World Health Day Committee has launched a number of activities during the month of April, 2016.
The celebration of World Health Day Opening Ceremony on Thursday morning held adjacent to the Edison Hughes Library Grounds was a major highlight. This event was well attended by health officials and the general public.
The Welcome and Opening remarks were given by Venice Battick, Coordinator of the Nutrition and Health Promotion Department followed by an inspiring invocation by Nurse Melody Hodge, School Health Nurse.

Mr. George Browne, Chief Executive Officer, Health Authority of Anguilla offered the Brief Remarks. He took the opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of the World Health Day Committee and the Nutrition and Health Promotion Department. He further expressed the importance of the theme (Beat Diabetes), which he described as “very profound and indelible”.
Dr. Bonnie Richardson-Lake, Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Health, in her Opening Remarks -presented a most timely, and relevant message on behalf of the Minister of Social Development Hon. Evans M. Rogers, who was unavoidably absent. This featured message was pellucid, splendidly delivered and was well received by a highly appreciative audience.

She emphasized the importance of elucidating the role of the Ministry of Health in recognizing the challenge of beating diabetes in Anguilla, and the necessary steps required to scale up prevention and manage care for those affected within specified goals and timelines for achievement. Dr. Lake, expanded on this premise, when she concurred that; “This year the focus is on diabetes because the diabetes epidemic is rapidly increasing in many countries, with the most dramatic increase in low- and middle-income countries like Anguilla.”

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Ms. Chelsea Hughes

She added that, “Efforts to prevent and treat diabetes will be important to achieve the global Sustainable Development Goal target of reducing premature mortality from (CNCDs) by one-third by 2030. Many sectors of society have a role to play, including governments, employers, educators, manufacturers, civil society, private sector, the media and individuals themselves.” She continued. “In Anguilla, we have been experiencing the brunt of the diabetes epidemic and the other NCDs which are a real threat not only to our physical health, but also to the economic health of our nation, through lost productivity and spiraling health care costs. The cost of dialysis care in Anguilla which is in excess of EC$2 million annually is particularly indicative. This cost is expected to increase as we add more clients to the programme, all of whom are diabetic, hypertensive or both.”
Dr. Lake further articulated the initiatives of the Ministry of Health, when she added, “The Ministry of Health and Social Development fully recognizes that this fight against diabetes and the other NCDs requires a government-led, multi-sectoral, whole- of- society approach. It is based on this paradigm that the Chronic Disease Unit was recently formed at the Ministry. One of the first actions was to reestablish the multi sectoral NCD Commission. This commission has representation from the Health, Agriculture, Social and Finance departments as well as non-governmental entities working in NCDs and the private sector.

Nurse Dana Ruan also gave remarks in her capacity as President of the Anguilla Diabetes Association. The Association has being playing a pivotal role in providing persons living with diabetes with support in managing the disease with up-to-date available resources, while enjoying “a more meaningful and productive life”.

One of the profound item of the opening event; was the audacious, emotional and motivational testimony of a young lady living with diabetes who is also a member of the Anguilla diabetes Association.

Notably, Ms. Chelsea Hughes captured the audience’s full attention during her discourse. She introduced herself as being twenty-one years old and was diagnosed at the tender age of 7 years. However, she never let diabetes kept her back; she is presently an ‘ A’ Student, an Honour student, an instructor at Klassique Academy of Dance and the reigning Miss Anguilla 2015-2016. Chelsea is currently pursuing studies in Curacao focusing on a career aimed at inspiring and helping persons living with diabetes. She thanked Nurse Dana Ruan and the Anguilla Diabetes Association for the kind assistance offered over the years.

During the WHD Opening Ceremony, certificates were distributed to persons who participated in the Chronic Diseases Self-Management Programme (CDSMP) conducted by the National Chronic Disease Unit. Patient self-management aims to help improve chronic disease care and curb the escalating economic and public health impact of chronic illness. Mrs. Twyla Bradshaw-Richardson (Director) and Ms. Fedalia Richardson (Programme Officer) of the unit thanked the group of participants for the openness and willingness to participate in the weekly activities.

During the Vote of Thanks Ms. Dehh2nise Roberts, Health Educator, Nutrition and Health Promotion Department, Health Authority of Anguilla- offered a well-expressed thank you on the behalf of the World Health Day Committee to everyone who contributed to the success of the event. Notably; Paramount Pharmacy, Suneel Pharmacy, Hughes Medical Centre and the Health Authority of Anguilla were thanked for their participation in a 15% reduction on medication and health checks for diabetics during the month of April 2016. Ms. Roberts commended the effort and advocated strengthening of this public/private partnership even after the celebrations would have concluded.

Samples of healthy, sugar-free, local drinks prepared by staff of the Nutrition and Health Promotion Department were served. Free seedlings from the Agriculture Department were available for the general public. And as expected- a wide selection of informational literature from The Nutrition and Health Promotion Department, Disaster Management, and The National Chronic Disease Department were displayed.

Some of the other activities during this month includes: diabetes health tips via text messages by LIME and Government of Anguilla email system, health education sessions on diabetes at all Health Authority of Anguilla health centers. Also tune in to Radio Anguilla for health tips on diabetes.
The overall event was a resounding success.

– Press Release
(Published without editing by The Anguillian newspaper.)

anguillian
By anguillian April 18, 2016 10:33 Updated

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