Government/European Commission aim to modernize SVG health sector
October 16, 2012
Government/European Commission aim to modernize SVG health sector

The most recent country poverty assessment has found that 30.2 per cent of the population is poor and 2.9 per cent indigent.{{more}}

In addition, the 2010 infant mortality rate is 20 per 1,000, an increase over those of the last five years.

And Minister of Health Clayton Burgin says quality health care for all citizens is important in alleviating poverty in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Burgin said at the Lewis Punnett Home this month that communicable childhood diseases have been virtually eliminated by effective immunization programmes and access to sanitation and safe water.

Chronic and non-communicable lifestyle diseases are now the major causes of mortality and morbidity, Burgin revealed.

He explained that the morbidity and mortality profile has changed to one of non-communicable disease, which prohibits the limited finances and health services from meeting the demand.

In light of the findings, Burgin disclosed that Ministry of Health officials are addressing the policies, human resources, information system and the infrastructure as an urgent response.

“Government has recognized the efforts that poor health can have on economic development and poverty reduction, and has, therefore, sought and received financial assistance from the European Commission to address this issue,” Burgin further stated.

He said both parties aim to modernize the health sector, with the first significant support programme being the right to health, infrastructure and logistics, human resources, sustainable financing, multi-sectoral activities and chronic non-communicable diseases.

“With the support of the 10th European Development Fund, the aim is to improve the health care delivery and our major response to the chronic non-communicable diseases. This project is poised to leverage the re-invigorated implementation of present health regulations and national policies,” the minister said.

A major part of this initiative will be the renovation of some key health institutions and the upgrade or construction of new facilities, Burgin said. (AA)