BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Barbados will host the inaugural three-day Small Island Developing States (SIDS) ministerial conference on non-communicable disease (NCD) and mental health, which gets underway on Wednesday.
The ministerial meeting will bring together health ministers and other high-level authorities from SIDS to discuss the scaling-up of multisectoral actions on NCDs and mental health, particularly given the impact of climate change on small-island states.
During the meeting, which takes place ahead of the UN General Assembly High-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage in September, participants will not only commit to increasing both national and international cooperation on mental health and NCDs but will also agree on a set of country-specific actions in to operationalize this commitment.
The meeting will also be attended by the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, who is here to participate in the meeting, Monday held talks with Prime Minister Mia Mottley focusing on the urgent need to protect health while promoting social and economic development in the Caribbean region.
“As we begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, I look forward to continued collaboration with Barbados, and the Caribbean as a whole, to rebuild stronger, more resilient health care systems,” he said.
Prime Minister Mottley during the discussions thanked PAHO for its continued collaboration with the country, including in the areas of primary health care, anti-microbial resistance, NCDs, vaccine equity and resilient health systems.
Dr. Barbosa also discussed health system resilience and recovery in the region, as well as technical cooperation priorities with the Barbados Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Jerome Walcott, and other stakeholders.