World Health Day in St. Kitts celebrated with community health fair in Sandy Point

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – World Health Day is observed annually on April 7 to highlight the status of health and wellness universally. Minister of State with responsibility for Health, the Honourable Wendy Phipps, in her World Health Day Address said that “access to quality care is a basic human right of all [people].”

Against the backdrop of “World Health Day,” the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM), hosted a community health fair in Sandy Point Saturday, April 7. Health care workers from the ministry and RUSM provided a wide range of free health screenings, including blood pressure, blood glucose, body mass index (BMI), vision, heart and lungs.

Minister Phipps thanked Ross University School of Medicine for its collaboration by stating that “this effort today is part of the embodiment of one of the sustainable goals for the United Nations (UN) in terms of true partnership between the public and private sector.”

Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Medicine at Ross University School of Medicine Dr. Allison Burnett also shared her sentiments of the health fair by saying “I think it was very well supported; we had quite a few members of the community who came out and they were very positive about the experience,” she said, “We are very happy that we were able to help in this way to improve health and health education in the country.”

Minister Phipps reminded the general public that the screening services that were available at the fair are regularly available in the federation.

“The ministry also wishes to remind the public that these services are normally provided on a regular basis at the 17 health centres and four hospitals in the federation,” she said. “Members of the public are therefore encouraged to visit these community and institution-based health facilities and participate in these screenings, most of which are still free of cost.”

In her address for World Health Day, Phipps said that this year’s theme, “Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere,” is very fitting with the government’s campaign to providing universal health coverage in the federation.

“This promise is being actively pursued and steady progress has been made by a national commission to introduce the well-needed coverage, especially for [people] who cannot afford the cost of their own care,” she said.

She also highlighted that to commemorate World Health Day, citizens and residents should be reminded of the importance of good health.

“As we observe World Health Day 2018, it is important to note that universal health coverage is not simply a matter of making financial provision for the cost of health care to all [people], regardless of colour, creed, gender and social status,” she said, while adding that it will also require a gradual expansion in medical services, investment in new medical technologies, infrastructure, medical legislation and regulations, and continued provision of traditional public health services.