Ottley presents stakeholders with plan for chronic diseases

   Ottley presents stakeholders with plan for chronic diseases

From left: Nicola Taylor, programme director for PAHO, Minister of VSA Omar Ottley, Dr Erica Wheeler PAHO rep for T&T and Dutch Caribbean and Dr Paul Edwards.

PHILIPSBURG--The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor VSA has finalised a new ten- year strategic plan for chronic diseases. This plan is called the Multi-sectoral Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (NCD MAP) 2021-2030.

The NCD MAP was presented to the Ministries of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport (ECYS), the Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning, and Infrastructure VROMI, and the Ministry of Finance by the Minister of VSA Omar Ottley.
“NCDs are chronic conditions that are caused by a combination of lifestyle, biological and environmental factors. They are the biggest cause of ill-health and death in the world, the ministry stated in a press release on Tuesday.
In St. Maarten, around a quarter of the population suffer from a chronic condition including high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, cancer, stroke, and heart attack. Mental health-related issues are also a prevalent but hidden condition.
The vision of the NCD MAP is a vibrant St. Maarten society where health and wellbeing are the way of life for all people to achieve their fullest potential in a stigma-free, equitable and supportive community.
The mission of the strategic plan is to create and promote a supportive environment that enables and empowers people to make healthier choices that will prevent and reduce NCDs and their risk factors by 2030. This can only be achieved by multi-sectoral action and collaboration between the various ministries.
There are four NCD MAP strategic action areas. The first is to strengthen health systems for surveillance, research, monitoring and evaluation on NCD prevalence and risk factors. Second is to establish governance and coordination mechanisms for multi-sectoral involvement, decision-making and implementation of the NCD MAP.
The third area is to reduce NCD risk factors by creating awareness, promoting healthy lifestyles and addressing determinants of health. The final area is to provide quality, people-centred, integrated and comprehensive services for the effective management of NCDs, including self-management.

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