The Caribbean ‘Moves’ with the World Health Organization at the UN High Level Meeting

Access to essential health services is still a concern for at least half of the world’s population, as health care costs pushes about 100 million people into extreme poverty in recent years. In an effort to bring light to this prevalent issue and to push the message of Health For All, the World Health Organization hosted the inaugural Walk The Talk , New York event on the eve of the 74th UN General Assembly. 

Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who opened the event explained that “the message we are promoting is health for all which is reminding the world to honour its pledges to ensure that all citizens have access to quality healthcare by the year 2030 or if possible before”.

Held in partnership with Caribbean Moves - the Caribbean regions approach to the fight against non communicable diseases, members of the diaspora including the Assistant Secretary General  CARICOM Mr. Douglas Slater, Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency Dr. Joy St John and Minister of Health and Wellness Jamaica Dr. Christopher Tufton were in attendance. 

Giving insight to Jamaica’s trajectory in achieving Universal Health Coverage for all citizens by 2030, Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Christopher Tufton shared that, while health care in Jamaica is free and has made good progress over the years, the quality of healthcare delivered requires greater focus and more resources to respond to the changing face of the countries disease profile. 

 

The reality is that Jamaica is not at the stage where we can say we are comfortably providing universal access to quality care because of certain inadequacies as it relates to infrastructure.  However, our 10 year strategic plan addresses this with the expansion of hospital services and infrastructure development at the community level through our health centers,” Tufton further shared.

He, however, believes that the world has a role to play through collaboration and coordination and that is why the Caribbean decided to play a role in the supporting of the inaugural event.Additionally, he championed the approach for Caribbean countries to come together to tackle lifestyle diseases, the leading cause of death and premature illness in the region. 

“As Caribbean people, we must work together using our culture and music in a positive way to influence healthier living. That is what Caribbean Moves is all about”

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