BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, August 9, 2020 (MMS-SKN) — In a concerted effort to decrease the rates of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country, the Ministry of Health will in 2021 focus on primary healthcare and community health services, and Minister of Health the Hon Akilah Byron-Nisbett is encouraging everyone to visit their local community health centres to get more information on health related issues.
“We at the Ministry of Health are trying to encourage everyone to exercise, to eat healthy, and to get your regular check-ups,” said the Hon Byron-Nisbett on Saturday August 8, when she addressed SKN Moves first anniversary Health Walk participants at the end of the walk at the Frigate Bay lawns.
“We must be able to decrease our NCDs rates and the only how we will do that is if we adopt new health measures for ourselves, and so the focus of the ministry for the year 2021 and beyond would be on primary healthcare, and the community health services.”
According to the Health Minister, everyone in the Federation has a community centre close by and she noted that the centres offer so much to help persons to manage their health, and to help them to understand the dos and the don’ts when it comes to healthcare. She encouraged everyone to visit their closest health centre in order to get more information.
The SKN Moves first anniversary Health Walk which attracted hundreds of participants including Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris was a collaboration of the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Health. The walk started at the Caribbean Cinemas parking lots in West Basseterre taking the participants along the FT Williams and Kim Collins Highways and ending at the Frigate Bay lawns.
“Throughout the year as well you would be able to hear us talk about different initiatives from SKN Moves as well as others, and we are encouraging persons to stay tuned to our Health Promotion Unit Facebook page and our YouTube channel where you will be getting a lot more information on what the Health Ministry is doing,” advised the Hon Byron-Nisbett.
The ministry’s expectation is to be able to partner with everyone in St. Kitts and Nevis as it tries to ensure that it builds healthy lives, healthy families, and healthy communities. Minister Byron-Nisbett said she was looking forward to the year ahead, and looking forward to seeing everyone.
She encouraged persons to wear their SKN Moves shirts while going out for walks and other forms of exercises and post the pictures on the Ministry’s Facebook page, promising that there might be something special waiting for them during SKN Moves anniversary next year.
The Minister also informed that there is an initiative with the different business places, where the Ministry is trying to encourage the business community to start different initiatives within their different businesses to make sure that members of their staff, as well, live a healthy life.
“There is a lot that is going to be happening with the Ministry of Health, and we want everyone to pay attention to whenever we make that call, because it is all about changing the lifestyles, changing you to a healthier lifestyle, making sure you eat healthy, making sure you exercise so that we can reduce the risks of NCDs in our Federation,” she observed.
In conclusion, the Honourable Minister of Health advised: “Stay tuned to the Ministry of Health – more events such as these will be planned and we want to see just as much and even more persons. So next time around we are asking you to bring ten persons with you, because we are going to ensure that this becomes a movement and in the end we see the whole of St. Kitts and Nevis moving.”
The entire exercise was coordinated by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr Delores Stapleton-Harris. Present included Chief Medical Officer Dr Hazel Laws, NCDs Programme Coordinator in the Ministry of Health Dr Marissa Carty, and District Medical Officer for Parsons to Newton Ground and Deputy Speaker Senator the Hon Bernicia Nisbett.
Others included Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China on Taiwan His Excellency Tom Lee, Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Education Mr William Vincent Hodge, Mrs Carla Astaphan who heads the St. Kitts and Nevis National Reparations Committee, and leadership and membership of National and Branch Executives of the Peoples Labour Party (PLP).