BASSETERRE, St. Kitts –- The healthcare system has successful improved during the most recent six years and built a system that ensures, ‘people first and quality always,’ according to Minister of Health, the Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett.
Minister Nisbett said that since 2015, Team Unity has built out a programme to reduce Non-communicable Diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases, which account for 83 percent of deaths in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“As a result of this work between 2015 to 2020, the incidence of new cases of diabetes has decreased by 46.9 percent and new cases of hypertension decreased by 44.7 percent,” said Mrs. Byron-Nisbett. “The renovation work continuing at the Joseph N. France General Hospital. This marks phase three of the project.
“Patients are being cared for at the new oncology wing at the JNF General Hospital,” she said. “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 believe that facility will provide relief to that community. A small health centre has outgrown its use at this point,” she said. “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, Mrs. Byron-Nisbett urged people to continue to follow the non-pharmaceutical measures.
“Yes, we are about to receive vaccines, and there are more on the way,” she explained. “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. We have come too far to turn back now, we can’t lose focus at this point.”
Mrs, Byron-Nisbett 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 COVID-19-related-deaths,” 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.