Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 18, 2021 (SKNIS): In what has been seen as six successful years, Minister of Health, the Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett, has said that the Team Unity Government has been working with citizens of the Federation to build a health care system that ensures people first, quality always.
Minister Nisbett was at the time speaking at the February 16 edition of the virtual forum “Leadership Matters,” where she highlighted areas of the Ministry of Health that have been improved.
She noted that since 2015, Team Unity has built out a programme to reduce Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, which account for some 83 percent of deaths in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“As a result of this work, in the period between 2015 to 2020, the incidence of new cases of diabetes has decreased by some 46.9 percent and new cases of hypertension decreased by some 44.7 percent,” she said.
The minister mentioned that renovation work continues at the back of the Joseph N. France (JNF) General Hospital. This marks phase three of the project.
Minister Byron-Nisbett said that persons are being cared for at the new oncology wing at the JNF General Hospital.
She added that the Tabernacle Health Centre has been built and the ministry will continue its efforts to refurbish all other health centres.
“We have already started work at the St. Peter’s Health Centre and we believe that that facility will indeed provide relief to that community as a small health centre has outgrown its use at this point,” she said. “So, this new facility will bring even more to the people of St. Peter’s and its surroundings and as a result add even more to our healthcare system.”
In terms of COVID-19, Minister Byron-Nisbett urged persons to continue to follow the non-pharmaceutical measures.
“Yes we are about to receive vaccines and there is more on the way, but we still have to ensure that we social distance, wear our masks, and follow all of our protocols to ensure that we continue to stay safe,” she said. “We have come too far to turn back now, we can’t lose focus at this point.”
The Health Minister said that the Team Unity Government’s early preparations and quick decisions meant that the country had the protective equipment it needed and its hospitals did not become overwhelmed.
“We kept you safe. We remain one of the very few countries that have not had any deaths related to COVID-19,” she said. “As we have reopened our borders, we have kept the health of our people our top priority, but we are not taking anything for granted, neither should you.”
Minister Byron-Nisbett added that there is much more needed to be done to secure a stronger and safer future for the Federation.