A CALL FOR GRENADIANS TO TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR HEALTH
ST.GEORGE_ Prime Minister Tillman Thomas has challenged Grenadians to take "personal responsibility" for their health and quality of life.
Speaking at the opening of the National Consultation on Health at the Grenada Trade Center Thursday, the Prime Minister said while investments in the health sector contribute to the national economy, health is a "personal choice."
"On the one hand, there are opportunities for the sector to contribute to our economic growth. On the other hand, each individual has a responsibility to manage his or her quality of life," the Grenadian leader told participants.
The consultation, held under the theme "Repositioning Health for Sustainable Development," took a holistic view of the health sector, including how Government can encourage citizens to make wise lifestyle decisions, thereby contributing to a reduction of Government's expenditure on medicines.
He pointed to a CARICOM-led initiative in which the United Nations last year highlighted the impact of chronic non-communicable Diseases, including Heart Disease, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure, on the economies of small island developing states.
He noted that while the United States is taking steps to curb obesity and other diet related diseases, Caribbean people are "craving" for the North American fast food culture.
"While Government tackles the challenge of sustainable development, we must also give consideration to the role a healthy population must play in building our country. Additionally we must take the necessary measures to ensure that our population can enjoy the benefits that accompany our development," he said.
The Prime Minister said that it was due to the importance of the sector that his Government named Health and Wellness as one of the five pillars of Grenada's economic development. He called for the scientific community and the private sector to partner with government in increasing research into Grenada's herbal subsector.
"I therefore challenge you to consider both the traditional methods that have worked for us and generations before, as well as the new and improved elements that come with increased knowledge and scientific discovery," the Prime Minister said.
ADDRESSES AT THIS MORNING'S LAUNCH OF THE CONSULTATION