Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 22, 2013 (SKNIS): Dr. Patrice Lawrence-Williams, Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) Country Programme Specialist for St Kitts and Nevis, commended the staff at the Ministry of Health for the hard work undertaken last year to promote the health agenda for the country.
Dr. Lawrence-Williams explained to the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service that the local Ministry of Health has been on target with the implementation of a Biennial Work plan (BWP) 2012-2013. She outlined that the two-year BWP is designed by PAHO in collaboration with the Ministry of Health as a means of identifying milestones and activities as well as their attainment. The BWP is subdivided into four semesters, each semester consisting of a six-month duration with measurable milestones. Some of the broad areas in which milestones were achieved include the Adolescent Health Care Programme, the Health Human Resource Programme and Quality Improvement in Health Care.
“I commend the staff at the Ministry of Health who worked tirelessly last year to attain these significant improvements in the implementation rates and urge them to celebrate these achievements whilst continuing to move forward in strengthening the service provided,” Dr. Lawrence-Williams noted.
St. Kitts and Nevis’ PAHO Country Programme Specialist further specified that the programmatic implementation of the BWP for 2012-2013 increased significantly with implementation rates of 90% and 80% respectively for the last two Semesters.
These sentiments were expressed at a social luncheon held in honour of the inauguration of Dr. Carissa F. Etienne who became the 10th Director of PAHO on January 31, 2013. This movement forward by the St. Kitts and Nevis Ministry of Health is in keeping with what the new Director of PAHO has coined her highest priority, i.e., accelerating progress towards universal access to quality health care.
“We have a powerful potential to create positive change in health,” Dr Etienne stated at her swearing in on January 31, 2013. “Health can be a driving force for change. Improved health and access to health care will translate into stronger economies, more cohesive societies, and in nations better able to integrate and compete in the global world.”
Dr. Etienne, a Dominican national replaced Dr. Mirta Roses Periago of Argentina, who held the position for ten years. She was formerly the Assistant Director-General at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva and previously served as PAHO’s Assistant Director.
The inauguration of the new PAHO Director was witnessed via webcast by members of the health fraternity of St. Kitts and Nevis at the mentioned social luncheon. On that occasion Minister of Health Honourable Marcella Liburd took the opportunity to congratulate Dr. Etienne on her achievement.