Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
February 25, 2008 (CUOPM)
The St. Kitts and Nevis Cabinet on Monday approved a new National Strategic Health Plan, designed to address the major healthcare challenges facing the twin-island Federation.
The five-year plan, presented by Minister of Health, Hon. Rupert Herbert, sets out strategies to achieve a healthier and more production nation and was developed through support from the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO).
It has adopted a multi-sectoral approach involving government, the private sector, and civil society and is based on seven critical pillars.
The Development of the Health Systems will focus on sustainable financing mechanisms, diagnostic capacity and continuous quality improvement, while the Family Health segment will pay increased attention to immunization, men’s health, and senior citizens’ health.
The Plan calls for the Mental health and Substance Abuse area to draw on legislation and human rights, improved mental health team composition, service provision and capacity management.
The Chronic Non-Communicable Disease Management, Nutrition and Physical Activity component is expected to emphasize re-orientation of the public health services, improve public health policy, research and surveillance.
According to the National Strategic Health Plan, the Environmental Health component will stress food safety and security, port surveillance and the monitoring of water quality, while the HIV/AIDS and Sexually-Transmitted Infections segment will target the prevention, treatment, care and support of the infected as well as research.
The Human Resource Development component is expected to improve recruitment, training and retention, performance and productivity and occupational health and safety.
Cabinet approved the new health plan and mandated its swift systematic implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
The new health plan also delivers on the government’s commitment to four important imperative, the Caribbean Cooperation in Health (CCH), the Nassau Declaration of 2001, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the recent Declaration of Port of Spain which calls for a united front in the region to stop the epidemic of chronic non-communicable disease.