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Posted: Sunday 7 April, 2024 at 4:27 PM

World Health Day – April 7, 2024

Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew and medical officials at the Pogson Hospital 

    Transcribed Presentation By Hon. Dr Terrance Drew, Prime Minister of Saint Kitts & Nevis & Minister of Health et al. 
    Today is World Health Day! It is a global health awareness day that is celebrated on April 7, annually. The theme for today’s celebration is: “My Health, My Right.”
    This year’s theme underscores the fundamental truth, that access to good health is a basic human right. Every human being has the right to the highest attainable standard of health which is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease. 


    The right to health is interrelated to other human rights which are in turn linked to the underlying determinants of health including those factors such as the right to safe drinking water, the right to adequate nutrition, the right to education, and to decent working and environmental conditions. Globally, the overall commitment to human rights in general has declined steadily with adverse effects on health. The aim of this year’s theme is to revive the health and human rights agenda. The goal is to champion the rights of everyone, everywhere, to have access to good quality health services. 


    Under the International Human Rights Law, St. Kitts & Nevis has a duty to recognize the right to health. The Federation has an obligation to ensure that all citizens and residents realize the right to health and its entitlements including preventative care, early screening, treatment and control of diseases, rehabilitation, and access to essential medicines and maternal, child, and reproductive health services.  


    Health is a human right, and it is indivisible from other human rights. It is critical to achieving the Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs) and ensuring a sustainable island state. The Government of St. Kitts & Nevis is committed to safeguarding every citizen’s right to health. The Ministry of Health recognizes that achieving this ideal of the highest standard of physical and mental health requires unwavering dedication to addressing the root causes of health inequities, such as poverty, stigma, and discrimination. It is imperative that we advance the cause of universal health coverage which is embedded in primary health care, in order to make quality health services affordable and accessible to all. 


    My Government has an unwavering commitment to strengthening the national health system and addressing the current health priorities.  


    The strides we have taken to enhance our health infrastructure and health services include


    •    Fighting Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) – In St. Kitts & Nevis, the fight against NCDs is real. The Ministry of Health (MOH) has scaled up its health education, health promotion, and health screening activities along with the adoption of new treatment guidelines. 


    •    Addressing Issues of Mental Health – Priority has been placed on the importance of good mental health by addressing/updating mental health legislation, assessing the issues surrounding substance use and abuse, and engaging key stakeholders in the care and treatment of persons living with mental health conditions.  


    •    Continued Surveillance and Prevention of Communicable Diseases – Community Nurses have scaled up vaccination efforts for routine antigens, while programmes such as HIV and Environmental Health continue to reach out to the key target groups in the mitigation of disease spread.   


    •    These efforts are assisted through the strengthening of primary health care services via the increased cadre of trained District Medical Officers (DMOs) and community nurses. 


    •    The MOH continues to strengthen Institutional Based Health Services (IBHS) through: (1) recruitment of specialized doctors and nurses; (2) improving dietary services; (3) the procurement of the latest diagnostic tools – A computed tomography (CT) scan machine, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine, fluoroscopy equipment, mammography machine, and an electroencephalogram (EEG) Machine. 


    •    Lastly, determining adequate financing mechanisms to support the implementation of a sustainable national health insurance scheme whereby persons can access secondary and tertiary level care without adverse economic consequences, is a must.  


    I call upon everyone, to take responsibility for their health, educate themselves, help to promote awareness, and support public health interventions. Let our actions reflect our dedication to the principles of equality, participation, accountability, and non-discrimination.  I invite all stakeholders to engage in meaningful collaboration and dialogue as we strive to build a healthier, more equitable future for our nation. Together, we can overcome the obstacles that stand in our way and achieve a state of health and well-being that is the right of every citizen. It was Winston S. Churchill who once said, “Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.” 






    This article was posted in its entirety as received by This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of, its sponsors or advertisers


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