Press Release

Ministry of Health & Social Development
Release Date:
Thursday, 6 September 2018 - 2:41pm

A 2nd one-day forum to advance the strategy for the prevention and control of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) will be held in observance of Caribbean Wellness Day.

Coordinator for Health Promotions Services and the National focal point for NCD’s Ms. Ivy George said the forum is a collaborative event by the Virgin Islands National Health and Wellness Advisory Council and the Ministry of Health and Social Development.

Ms. George said, “The purpose of the forum is to bring together members of the council, the Interdepartmental Technical Working Group for Health and Wellness as well as members of subcommittees and other community stakeholders.”

The forum will also give stakeholders an opportunity to present progress reports on programmes and projects as well as gain additional support. 

Caribbean Wellness Day 2018 will be observed on Saturday September 8 and bears the theme, Healthy Communities: Preserving the Workforce. Individuals are also urged to ‘be healthy, stay healthy, it’s your job!’

Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) Dr. James C Hospedales in this year’s wellness day message has said the Caribbean remains the region of the Americas worst affected by the epidemic of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases.

Dr. Hospedales stated that this is a serious concern for the region because treating preventable NCDs is very costly and imposes a large economic burden on patients, their families, businesses, governments, social security and society at large.  He added that a closer look at diabetes shows that it is a major cause of admissions to hospitals, kidney failure, blindness, and limb amputation in the region.

The Subcommittee for Health, Safety and Wellness in the Workplace will also coordinate a number of events during the period September 2018 to June 2019 aimed at improving health and wellness in the Virgin Islands workforce and workplaces.

This is in keeping with the United Nations (UN), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) message which states that “every individual has a right to healthy and safe work and to a work environment that enables him or her to live a socially and economically productive life.”

This subcommittee is chaired by Deputy Commissioner of Labour Mrs. Michelle McLean and the Subcommittee’s Deputy Chairman Mr. Decoy Mactavious of Ogier.

For ideas and more on how you can promote healthy habits at work, you can review ‘helpful tips for promoting work place wellness in your organisation’ in the Caribbean Wellness Day (CWD) toolkit at

The Ministry of Health and Social Development is committed to improving the health and well-being of the population and reducing the rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases to improve health and save lives.


Giovanni Herbert

Information Officer
Telephone:  468-2035