The World Health Organization, (WHO), has disclosed that 43 percent of the current global disease burden is caused by NCDs. This is expected, according to the WHO, to rise to 60 percent of the disease burden, by the year 2020, which will account for 73 percent of all deaths worldwide. Most of this increase will be accounted for by emerging non communicable disease epidemics, in developing countries.
The Director of Community Health Services in the Ministry of Health Dr. Hazel Williams Roberts explained that conditions that are not transmissible via direct contact between individuals are classified as NCDs. Dr. Roberts has revealed that the list, which includes diabetes, asthma, hypertension, heart disease, strokes and cancers, have grown to dangerous levels in most developing nations, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The one day summit, scheduled for Thursday 26th May, 2011, will therefore be used to highlight the effects that Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) can have on an individual, a family, a community and the domestic economy.
“The participants are quite diverse,” she said, while highlighting the target audience which includes persons from the food industry, Red Cross, Insurance Companies, and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce among others.
“The point we’re making is that each organization has a contribution to make, whether it is in terms of securing workplace wellness for employees, or impacting policy,” said the Director of Community Health Services.
The health official suggested that companies can organize sessions that promote physical activity or introduce healthier meals on cafeteria menus as part of their wellness policy.
Key members from the public sector such as agricultural officials will also dialogue with civil society at the forum.
Dr. Williams Roberts indicated, “Out of this activity will emerge an action plan that focuses strategies to be implemented within civil society. “We’ll have the civil sector component and a public sector component which together comprise the expanded country response to NCDs.”
She further explained that this National Action Plan will form part of St. Kitts and Nevis’ contribution to the September 19-20 High-level meeting of the UN General Assembly on the prevention and control of Non Communicable Diseases in New York, U.S.A.