Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services thanks Dr. Esther Mary De Gourville, PAHO/WHO Representative for the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands, for her recent visit to the Turks and Caicos Islands, February 19th – 22nd 2018, to review the Strategic Plan PAHO and Member States signed onto for the period of 2014 – 2019. The purpose of the strategic plan is to achieve nine (9) regional/national impact goals as shown below:
- Improve health and well-being with equity
- Ensure a healthy start for newborns and infants
- Ensure safe motherhood
- Reduce mortality due to poor quality of health care
- Improve the health of the adult population with an emphasis on NCs and risk factors
- Reduce mortality due to communicable diseases
- Curb premature mortality due to violence and injuries by tackling major risks of adolescents and young adults (15-24 years of age)
- Eliminate priority communicable diseases in the region
- Prevent death, illness and disability arising from emergencies
These goals all have three (3) cross-cutting aims: 1) gender and ethnicity, 2) human rights and equity, and 3) determinants of health.
Over the years, Turks and Caicos Islands has worked in collaboration with PAHO/WHO to achieve global, regional, and national objectives under a cooperative agreement carryout through Biennial Work Plans (BWPs). As we enter the last biennium of this Strategic Plan, Dr. De Gourville visited the TCI to meet with the Honorable Minister of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services along with Ministry Executives and Heads of Department.
The first meeting was held with the Minister, Hon. Edwin Astwood, to share a donation of laptop computers and satellite telephones which will strengthen the Ministry's capacity to respond to disasters such as hurricanes and improve resiliency within the health sector. During the meeting with the Executive Team, she also shared the objectives of the visit.
Her primary objectives were to review progress made over previous biennium periods covered under the Strategic Plan in preparation for a region wide country self-assessment as well as review and update the BWP Implementation Plan for 2018-19. Technical support received over the previous periods was noteworthy and achievements were made in many areas:
- Strategic Planning and Monitoring and Evaluation
- Information Systems for Health and Data Protection
- Public and Environmental Health
- Health Disaster and Emergency Preparation and Response
- Legislation, Regulation and Policy Development and Implementation/Enforcement
- Strengthening of Primary Health Care (strategy, financing, infrastructure, training, services)
- Health in All Policies
Moving forward, technical support will continue in the aforementioned areas among others and special attention will be given to the following areas:
- Health System Strengthening with emphasis placed on Primary Health Care
- Non-Communicable Diseases inclusive of Nutrition
- Women, Children and Adolescent Health
- Mental Health
- Special Needs
The Ministry is grateful for the support received from PAHO/WHO, especially in preparation for and response to hurricanes Irma and Maria. We are honoured that Dr. De Gourville took time out of her busy schedule for this very important visit and look forward to sustaining our longstanding cooperative relationship with PAHO/WHO.