PAHO/WHO Meets with Ministry Officials During Biennial Work Plan Review

Dr. Amalia del Riego
Dr. Amalia del Riego

Health Officials from St. Lucia’s Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs met at the Bay Gardens Beach Resort recently for the ministry’s biennial work plan review.  Present at that meeting was newly installed PAHO/WHO representative for Barbados and the region Dr. Amelia del Riego who presented her credentials to St. Lucia while on island in March this year.

The purpose of the ministry’s work plan was to map out and prioritize the way forward. Participants in the exercise were assisted by the PAHO/WHO representative for Barbados and the region Dr. Amelia del Riego.  Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Sharon Belmar-George says PAHO continues to play a major role in the development of St. Lucia’s health sector.

“So we’ve reviewed a number of our programmes and we are working closely with PAHO to ensure we get the necessary support, both technical equipment, supplies, medication, with our various program heads. Our various program heads are here today as well. We are really taking an intricate view of where we are so that we can work to improve healthcare in the coming years,” the CMO said.

Dr. Belmar-George says many of the Ministry’s programmes suffered during the management of the pandemic. However, following a health assessment conducted over the last year, the ministry was successfully able to integrate COVID-19 services into its regular programs.

“Some of our priorities include Universal Health Care, which is a priority for the Ministry of Health and the Government. And we are getting support from PAHO for the run off of Universal Health Care. Also Primary Care strengthening, Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases, ” she said.

St Lucia continues to be thankful to PAHO for lending its support to the many efforts in the   management of COVID-19 and other health programmes in general.

According to the CMO a number of programmes are currently ongoing in an attempt to increase screening, physical activity, better nutrition and to improve the overall health of the country’s citizens.

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