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Minister of Health Kevin Bernard attends Small Island Developing States Ministerial Conference on Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health in Barbados

Posted: Tuesday, June 13, 2023. 6:35 pm CST.

Photo Credit: MOHW

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Belize’s Minister of Health & Wellness Kevin Bernard and CEO Dr. Julio Sabido are attending the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Ministerial Conference on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) and Mental Health from June 14-16, 2023 in Bridgetown, Barbados.

“Their presence at this important conference underscores Belize’s commitment to addressing the growing burden of non-communicable diseases and mental health issues among Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Caribbean region,” the Ministry of Health and Wellness said.

“It also provides an opportunity for Belize to share its experiences and learn from other countries in the region, as they strive to improve the health and well-being of their populations.”

(L to R) WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Belize’s Minister of Health & Wellness CEO Dr. Julio Sabido, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, and Belize’s Minister of Health & Wellness (MOHW) Kevin Bernard. (Photo Credit: MOHW)

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) convened the regional Ministers of Health and partner organizations to discuss how to address the challenges of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and mental health in SIDS countries, particularly in the context of the impact of climate change and COVID-19 on health and economies in these particularly vulnerable states, said a statement by the WHO.

The conference will also contribute to the global processes on universal health coverage, NCDs and mental health that will happen in the next few years beginning with the UN General Assembly High-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage in September 2023 and the fourth High-level meeting on NCDs in 2025.

Organized by WHO, PAHO and the Government of Barbados, the conference will feature prominent speakers such as the Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley, the WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and the PAHO Director Dr Jarbas Barbosa.

The conference is a follow-up to previous meetings on NCDs and mental health in SIDS, where key recommendations were made, and political commitments were reaffirmed. The main purpose of the conference is to endorse an outcome document that will guide the actions on NCDs and mental health in SIDS.


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