#Providenciales, April 11, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – World Health Day was observed on Sunday 7th April under the theme “Universal Coverage for all”. This day has been set aside by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 1948. The ambitious vision set out 71 years ago of a world in which all people enjoy the highest attainable standard of health still stands today. The Turks and Caicos Islands joined the rest of the world in observing World Health Day.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO stated; “Today, half the world’s population cannot access essential health services. Millions of women give birth without help from a skilled attendant; millions of children miss out on vaccinations against killer diseases, and millions suffer and die because they can’t get treatment for HIV, TB, and malaria. In 2019, this is simply unacceptable.”
Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus further stated; “In the Sustainable Development Goals, all countries have committed to achieving universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030. To meet that target, we need to see 1 billion people benefitting from UHC in the next 5 years.”
The Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services is working to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals targets are met. The Turks and Caicos Islands are one of the first Caribbean countries to implement National Health Insurance Program which is a social health insurance scheme (NHIP). There are Primary Health Care clinics on all islands and extended clinic hours are offered on Providenciales at the Cheshire Medical Centre Monday to Saturday. Health care systems are being strengthened.
The Minister of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services, Hon. Edwin Astwood, stated; “We see primary health care as the foundation of universal health coverage therefore, we will continue to strengthen our primary health care systems and services to guarantee early detection, treatment and prevention of diseases. We are putting Primary Health Care in the driver’s seat.”
Hon. Astwood thanks all personnel working in the medical profession for their hard work and commitment to ensuring a healthier Turks and Caicos as we continue to work towards making health care accessible for all.