Family Health Care to receive critical attention in 2013, says Nevis Health Minister

NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (May 09, 2013) –Family Health Care will receive critical attention from the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) during 2013.These services would be pertinent to all areas of family health and would range from child, adolescent, women, as well as men’s health.

The announcement came from Deputy Premier and Minister of Health on Nevis Hon. Mark Brantley at a recent sitting of the Nevis Island Assembly. He noted that that the Ministry had already identified key initiatives directed at the family health care it planned to implement during the remainder of the year.

“In the area of Child Health, the Ministry of Health plans to strengthen our efforts in the area of the promotion of breast feeding which has been proven to strengthen the immune system. We have adopted westernized cultures including that of exclusive bottle-feeding and must consider revisiting natural feeding practices

“Paediatrician services will also be introduced at public health facilities on the island, thus expanding access of this specialised service throughout the community, beyond the gates of the Alexandra Hospital,” he said.

Dealing with Senior Health services Mr. Brantley said plans included the expansion of recreational space available at the Flamboyant Nursing Home.

He explained that the new space would complement the recent landscaping improvements conducted by Mr. Dane Sandiford and his team from the Four Seasons, who volunteered their time and effort to assist. The Minister publicly thanked them for the invaluable gesture.

Mr. Brantley also stated that the Seniors’ Health programme would not be restricted to the institutional.

“Seniors health programmes will not only be institutional-based but instituted at the community level. Educational programmes directed at families will also be instituted to encourage care for the elderly within the home. Our people must be encouraged to care for their elderly relatives at home as much as possible,” he said.

According to the Health Minister, the seniors would also have increased access to physiotherapy services at the District level, particularly for those who were affected by illnesses such as a stroke.

The Minister added that the new NIA would also continue to place focus in the area of men’s and women’s health.

“Men’s health clinics already established at four Health Centres on the island will continue to promote healthy lifestyle practices and facilitate health screening activities. These clinics will place a focus on all Non-communicable Diseases, including cancer that continues to be present in our communities at alarming rates.

“Women’s health issues including those related to breast and cervical cancer will continue to be an immediate priority for the Ministry of Health. The Ministry continues to encourage our women to get regular Pap Smears, so as to detect the causative agents for cervical cancer early,” he said.

Mr. Brantley reminded, that Pap Smears were available at all health centres throughout the islandand implored all to utilise the service.

He added that the NIA, through its Ministry of Health, looked forward to continued partnerships with civil society groups including the Nevis Maternal Health Fund, Pink Lily, the Nevis Renal Society and private sector health entities including one of its newest partners, Dr. EroleHobdy.

The Health Minister also made known that the Brown Hill Health Centre which was opened in 2007 but its state-of-the-art pharmacy which had never been utilised, would begin operating from July 1st, 2013.
He said he was certain that the seniors of the St. Johns Parish would be pleased with the news since they would no longer be required to travel to Charlestown to pick up their medication.

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