Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 11, 2018 (SKNIS): In an attempt to combat the challenges posed by Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), the Ministry of Health continues to implement a number of programmes to address this national health concern. Its most recent project is the role out of a Chronic Disease Self-Management Programme (CDSMP) or “Living Healthy” Programme created by Stanford University and introduced to the Ministry of Health by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

A CDSMP workshop is currently being hosted by the Ministry from April 09 – 13, at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) conference room. The five day workshop is described as a leader training certification course where the participants are trained to facilitate a six week community workshop with individuals who are diagnosed or have risk factors of a chronic non-communicable disease. Each six week workshop accommodates approximately 12-16 persons and is open to the general public.

Non-Communicable Disease Coordinator in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Marisa Carty said that the programme provides an opportunity for individuals living with chronic diseases to learn to take steps to improve their overall health.

“There is strong evidence to show that participants of this programme experience several beneficial health outcomes including greater energy, increased participation in physical activity, improved health status, reduced pain symptoms, and improved psychological well-being,” she stated.

She also added that success has been seen in better communication with physicians and healthcare providers from past participants.

Dr. Carty noted that the Ministry of Health has a goal of reaching four to six hundred persons through these six week workshops by the end of 2018 to make a significant impact on the challenges with chronic diseases in the federation.

“There is tremendous benefit to incorporating this type of programme into as many spheres of society as possible, simply because anyone of any social class or construct can be faced with a chronic disease,” she added.

The training workshop covers topics such as mind-body connection, dealing with difficult emotions, preventing falls and improving balance, endurance exercises, pain management, healthy eating, making informed treatment decisions and dealing with depression versus positive thinking.

There are currently two master trainers and 11 leader trainers in the federation. This workshop will provide an additional 13 leaders to the group with four from Nevis.