Wednesday, September 21, 2011

PM at UN

NARRATOR: This is a time for the international community to confront an epidemic that is correctable, reversible and treatable.Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines told a high-level meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases that this meeting should not be a culmination of an effort, but merely the beginning of intense, focused and coordinated action to address the health and developmental impacts of non-communicable diseases, particularly in poor and middle-income countries.Prime-Minister Gonsalves also pointed to what he said was the reason the meeting is being held in the UN General Assembly and not at the World Health Organization’s (WHO) headquarters in Geneva.

“That reason is the fact that the fallout of the NCD epidemic is much wider than the health sector or the health of those individuals tragically afflicted with non-communicable diseases. The developmental aspects of this epidemic must be highlighted and addressed. In particular, we must confront the tremendous strain that NCD treatment places on the health care budgets of developing countries. We cannot ignore too, the disproportionate impact of this epidemic on poor people and developing states; or its negative impact on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.”NARRATOR: Prime Minister Gonsalves stressed that the response to the non-communicable disease epidemic must therefore be multifaceted and coordinated.

And he cautioned that the political consensus must give impetus to a robust follow-up process and a detailed action plan that will provide assistance to local hospitals and primary care facilities; and collaborate on education and pubic awareness efforts in combating these diseases.

This is Donn Bobb reporting.