Non-Communicable Diseases Commissioners urged to get grassroots view


  • evidence-based data on what pertains in each region must be sought

 DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Members of the National Presidential Commission for Non-Communicable Diseases must go out into communities to become more familiar with what the issues are surrounding their mandate.

That was the call by the Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence at the opening of a capacity building workshop at the Guyana Marriot Hotel, the aim of which is to help the commissioners better understand their roles and responsibilities.

Lawrence told the commissioners “if we are to counter the adverse effect of our people’s health and economic life, there is need to reach out to our communities and initiate the fight there against the chronic and non-communicable diseases. The commissioners, to my mind, need to be fully cognizant of this role and responsibility and must seek to have evidence-based data on what pertains in each of the regions.”

She stressed the importance of knowing what should be treated in the various regions as it is not a one size fit all situation. “What are we treating? What age groups are most affected? These are information that should be shared with you so that you can plan in order to effect the necessary changes that are needed within these various regions.”

President of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition Sir Trevor Hassell told the commissioners that they have an obligation to achieve the goals of the commission which are not unique to the Caribbean but also to the world. “What we are hoping to do is to share with you our experiences and seek to see how we can assist the commission in going to another level.”

Commissioners Avonie Lekha-West and Ricardo Banwarie said that they are looking to make the most of the capacity building workshop. Banwarie who represents the Ministry of Social Protection said: “Based on our work at Social Protection, I expect to benefit from it so that I will be able to take back all the information as it relates to the clientele that we serve at the Social Protection Ministry.”

Lekha-West from the Ministry of Business and Tourism said she hopes to have a better understanding of what she is required to do in her capacity. “My whole expectation from the workshop is that we will be able to understand our role and function in society as NCD and we will be able to integrate with the HCC in terms of how we operate and ensure that our face is out there and people understand what we are about.”

Also present at the workshop were Minister within the Ministry of Public Health Dr. Karen Cummings, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shamdeo Persaud, Executive Director of Healthy Caribbean Coalition Maisha Hutton and PAHO/WHO Representative Dr. William Adu-Krow.

The National Presidential Commission is aimed at reducing the incidence of Non-Communicable Diseases such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease and chronic lung disease. The commission, which was launched last year, is chaired by His Excellency President David Granger.

By: Isaiah Braithwaite.

Image: Keno George.