According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), “The Bahamas is experiencing a shift in its epidemiologic patterns away from deaths due to communicable diseases and toward those caused by chronic non-communicable diseases, AIDS and AIDS-related complex, and accidents, violence, and poisonings. These changes, coupled with increasing health care costs, have served to highlight the importance of health education and promotion as a vital component of the health care system.”
As with the rest of the world, The Bahamas is battling against preventable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and Heart disease, and other chronic non-communicable diseases such as cancer, hypertension and diabetes. The fight is conducted with the blunted weapons of limited funding and overworked healthcare providers. This is where The One Eleuthera Foundation and the wider community can assist, by helping to reduce the incidence of morbidity (illness) and mortality (death) and helping to support the wounded healers who are the healthcare professionals.
The Health and Wellness Symposium seeks to bring together innovators from various organizations to gather a sample of insights and identify overlapping priority areas across organizations working to create a collaborative, PROACTIVE, Health & Wellness Secretariat.
Our partners are joining forces to formally adopt the Ministry of Health’s Healthy Lifestyles Initiative and develop and agree upon a strategy that will eventually lead to a reversal in the trend of increasing Non Communicable Disease-associated deaths. We feel that the work of our partners have brought great care and support to our residents and now we want to coordinate and strengthen our efforts to bring about even more measureable progress.
THE GUIDING FOCAL POINTS
- Adopt the Ministry of Health’s Healthy Lifestyles Plan (attached) and advance a way forward. A white paper/draft plan is under development and will be made available before the symposium for feedback from participants.
- Provide opportunity for further discussion and follow-up opportunities to refine the draft strategic plan.
- Create awareness of the on-going work of the various health initiatives on Eleuthera, including the Cancer Society, Diabetic Advocacy, Healthy Lifestyles Initiative and other positive trends on the island, and highlight the challenges faced by nurses and other health care professionals in carrying out their mandate.
- Emphasize the need for a Wellness/Care/Hospice Center and begin discussion.
- Affirm and solicit every facet of health and wellness, from research on causes, to treatment, to palliation in the final stages of a disease.
- Develop recommendations on how to achieve goals and provide staff coordination.
- Develop a working critical path/strategic plan for a health & nutrition campaign and movement specifically designed for Eleuthera with the view of it being used as a prototype for other islands and countries.
- Encompass the natural resources and agricultural “bread basket” of our island. Identify areas of interest and concern surrounding non-communicable diseases to encompass: nutrition, behavioural changes, exercise, education and programme sustainability.
- Explore funding opportunities.
1st Annual Pathway to Wellness: Reversing the Trends Symposium – Focus Non Communicable Diseases
2nd Annual Pathway to Wellness: Reversing the Trends Symposium – Focus Breast Cancer
3rd Annual Pathway to Wellness: Reversing the Trends Symposium – Focus Diabetes
4th Annual Pathway to Wellness: Reversing the Trends Symposium – Focus Cardiovascular Health