The call for a unified approach was recently taken up by the Foreign Affairs Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Sam Condor during his recent visit to the United Nations.
He said that the continuing reduction in the huge costs of treatment for heart failure, diabetes, hypertension, and the resulting mortality rates of 60-70 percent from NCDs, are worth the investment in safe guarding vital “human capital” and the development of the various regions.
The Foreign Minister said “Non Communicable Diseases are to a large extent preventable. Hence it is essential that the outcome-document from the UN High Level Meeting, mirrors many of the chief concerns of the Port of Spain Declaration, aimed at encouraging governments and the private sector to collaborate on increasing avenues, for exercise, healthy diets and smoke free zones for the benefit of the general public.”
A government release quoted Mr. Condor as saying that St. Kitts and Nevis is committed to working diligently at the National and Regional levels and to collaborate internationally to improve the lives of the people of the twin-island Federation.
“St. Kitts and Nevis is a relatively small country and it is usually the small and vulnerable that is most severely impacted when global shocks and crises occur,” Condor was quoted as saying.
He said that is why as a region, we promote collective action to enhance our resilience, promote human security, lessen our vulnerability and build stronger economies. Such has been widely acclaimed best practice approach, with regard to HIV/AIDS.
“UNAIDS has collaborated with the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP); in keeping with its commitment to support countries in achieving the Millennium Development Goals; and also in ensuring that HIV Prevention, Care, Treatment and Support services are provided to ail in need. The agenda is still a full one; and the challenge, no less daunting than it was ten years ago, in a region with the second highest global prevalence rate of HIV.
Given all this, Condor is encouraging the continued support of UNAIDS and other Health and Development agencies.
With regard to Non-Communicable diseases, Mr. Condor said that the Caribbean can be justly proud that the initiatives in the Port of Spain Declaration (2007): Uniting to stop the epidemic of chronic NCDs, which arose out of the first-ever Heads of Government Summit on NCDs, has resonated across the globe, resulting in the just concluded UN High Level Meeting (HLM) on NCDs with a consensus to launch an International Wellness revolution.