World Health Day Speech: Minister outlines policies to improve people’s health in 2022 World Health Day Speech

Dr. Irving McIntyre

Have a nice day and happy World Health Day!

World Health Day is observed around the world on April 7 every year to commemorate the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO).

This is a day that aims to raise awareness of a specific health theme that will highlight an area of ​​priority concern for the World Health Organization.

The theme for World Health Day 2022 is “Our Planet, Our Health” and WHO will focus global attention on the urgent actions needed to keep people and the planet healthy, and foster a movement to create well-being societies.

This year, the World Health Organization estimated that more than 13 million deaths worldwide each year are due to preventable environmental causes, with the climate crisis being the greatest health threat facing humanity. .

The WHO talks about extreme weather events, land degradation and water scarcity that displace people and affect their health, and that has been pretty evident in our own country. The devastation suffered by Tropical Storm Erika and Hurricane Maria is testimony to this.

Our planet and our health are not only affected by natural disasters and climate crises, but the COVID-19 pandemic has identified gaps in all areas of society and underscored the urgent need to create healthy and sustainable societies. committed to achieving equitable health now and in the future.

The health of any society, however, depends largely on its savings. The WHO said the current design of economies leads to an inequitable distribution of income, wealth and power, with too many people still living in poverty and instability. Breaking these cycles of destruction for the planet and human health will require legislative action, corporate
reform and individuals to take ownership and responsibility for our planet.

Even as a small island developing state, we can overlook the role we play in creating and sustaining a healthy planet. This is one of the reasons why the government of Dominica, through its various

The Ministries of Health, Environment and Education have developed and continue to develop policy decisions and strategies to be implemented that aim to improve the health of the population.

These include:

 Approval by Cabinet of the National Multi-Hazard Disaster Management Plan for Dominica and the National Health Emergency Operations Center, Concept of Operations.

 Establishment of a strong national education system; surveillance and monitoring of vectors, food and waterborne diseases, vaccine-preventable diseases, sanitation and hygiene.

 Construction and completion of 12 health and wellness centers in primary health care, with 3 more in progress, as well as the construction of Dominica China Friendship Hospital and Marigot Hospital.

 Training of health workers in specialized areas and increase in the budget for the purchase of medicines with the aim of improving access to wellness programs and therefore good health.

 Completed drafting of instructions for tobacco legislation and soon to implement regulations for smoke-free spaces.

 Implementation of the HEARTS initiative which will complement the primary health care system in the management of diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

 Review of cancer guidelines and increased education, screening and early intervention. Development and acceleration of cervical and breast cancer guidelines and implementation of HPV vaccines. Implementing activities related to improving our health care delivery has not been the only focus and we have seen activities undertaken by other departments:

 A broader approach of the Dominica Geothermal Development Company Limited is to provide for the use of renewable and clean energy through the responsible exploration of Dominica’s geothermal resources. Geothermal energy is one of the most promising energy sources. It has proven to be reliable and has no carbon footprint, thus limiting the environmental impact.

 The National Forest Policy is a guide for the sustainable management and use of forest ecosystems. The goals are to be achieved through the proposed strategies and implementation mechanisms, ensuring that the shared vision becomes our reality. Our forest ecosystems provide food, water, wood, clean air and medical remedies which all play an invaluable role in climate change adaptation and mitigation.

 Improvements in the storage, collection, treatment and disposal of solid waste from the Dominica Solid Waste Management Cooperation.

 The establishment of DVRP, taking into account topography and relief, climate change projects, hydrology,
environments and road works. As the Government of Dominica, through its various ministries and departments, plays its part in reducing pollution and climate change impacts, every individual has an important role to play.

 Proper disposal of garbage and waste, including composting.

 Reduce the use of plastics by switching to biodegradable bags.

 Participate in recycling programs and buy recycled products.

 Proper disposal of abandoned vehicles, glass, lead acid batteries,
plastics, used engine oil, used tires, household appliances.

 Purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles.

 Stop smoking to reduce the negative effects on yourself and
individuals through second-hand smoke.

 Reduce the consumption of unhealthy and highly processed foods
sugar, fat and salt content, and reduce alcohol consumption.

 Consumption of sufficient amounts of water, fruits and vegetables.

 Eat what you grow and grow what you eat.

 Adopt an active lifestyle.

 Participate in screening services even if you feel well.

 Reduction of forest fires.

 Walk, cycle or use public transport and carpooling to
help reduce our carbon footprint.

 Save energy by turning off lights when not in use in addition to
using energy saving light bulbs.

 Plant and grow as many trees as possible.

 And finally, raise awareness – Let people around you know how
they can contribute to a cleaner environment.

On World Health Day 2022, the Department of Health, Wellness and New Investments in Health, in partnership with other stakeholders, will engage and educate the public by providing information on all social media platforms.

We invite you to get involved, participate and protect our health and our planet together!

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