(ZIZ News) — Health and other government officials gathered at the St. Kitts Nevis UWI Open campus facility for the opening of the incident command systems and emergency operations workshop on Monday morning.

The aim of the workshop is to build the health sector’s resilience to emergencies and disasters in St Kitts and Nevis.

According to a statement from the ministry effective disaster management relies to a large extent on qualified human resources rather than on equipment and technology.

During her opening remarks, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Of Health Ionie Liburd-Willett explained how the workshop can benefit the participants and their communities.

“Every time we listen to the news, we hear of dangerous flooding, wild and extreme weather, earthquakes disasters and so much more. While we cannot prevent these natural occurrences, there is much that we can do in disaster management and hazard mitigation at the local level. I am confident that having engaged in the scenarios, desktop exercises and case studies, you will be well positioned participants to integrate relevant policies and practices at your work places and in the community”, the Permanent Secretary said.

During her feature address, Minister of State with Responsibility for Health, Hon. Wendy Phipps said the timing of the workshop is quite appropriate.

“The timeline for the workshop in terms of it being at the centre of the 2016 Hurricane season is not by accident because the data that we get from the National Hurricane Centre indicates to us that September or approaching September is the hottest periods for Hurricane activity. By that token we could not have been having this workshop at a better time”, Minister Phipps said.

She then explained the core mandate of the Ministry as it relates to the workshop.

“We are reminded as this workshop is being staged that the core mandate of the Ministry of Health is to provide quality healthcare in an urgent, efficient and time sensitive professional manner because at the end of the day the goal overall is to save lives.

The three-day workshop wraps up on Wednesday August 31.