Director of Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) Clarissa Etienne has called on Caribbean leaders to pay more attention to the health of their people.
At the recent Cuba Salud 2022, where officials from all over the globe gathered to discuss the state of health in their respective countries, Etienne said that “the world, including the Region of the Americas, is not on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals,” adding that the that “limited and uneven progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda was further set back by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are designed as a call to action by all countries to meet the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which “provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet.”
SDG Number 3 states that all countries must “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.”
Addressing the convention, the Minister of Public Health of Cuba, José Ángel Portal Miranda, urged the international community to work to strengthen health systems through greater use of scientific advances and training of human resources. He emphasized that only in this way will it be possible to manage pandemics such as COVID-19, which revealed the weaknesses in many countries’ healthcare structures.
He also called for increasing people’s access to health services and for greater equity in the distribution of resources.
Efforts on Healthcare
In Saint Lucia, 13 wellness centres have been recently retrofitted as part of the SMART project of PAHO.
“SMART facilities stand out from the rest in that they are environmentally friendly and resilient to natural disasters. They also mitigate the effects of climate change in that the buildings can withstand climatic conditions that allow them to continue operations by providing continuity of services following a disaster,” Julietta Frederick-Cassius, Saint Lucia’s principal nursing officer, said in an interview.
The health ministry in Guyana has promised to zero in on cancer care as he spoke at a recent event on Breast Cancer Awareness. He acknowledged the need for special facilities that could attend to cancer patients and said that the government is working on collaborating with international partners to improve general oncology treatment in the country.
Meanwhile, Dominica has taken the healthcare system upgrades further, especially after the consecutive calamities that hit the country in 2015 and 2017. Its government has teamed up with MMC Development Ltd. to develop the island’s most advanced health institution, the New Marigot Hospital, and twelve other health centres across the island.
According to Anthony Haiden, MMC Development Ltd.’s CEO, the buildings are “equipped with the necessary apparatuses, machinery and furnishings that will be able to cater for the health needs of Dominicans and will give the country’s healthcare system its much-needed boost.”
MMC Development Ltd. also oversees the construction of additional health centres to be completed in Q2 of 2023.
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