According to the Government of Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia has collaborated with The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) aims to eliminate more than 30 communicable diseases by 2030. It includes the areas of Latin America and the Caribbean, which had taken new impetus at a session held last Wednesday.
The session was held on the sidelines of the 60th Directing Council of the regional public health institution.
The Elimination Initiative aims to interrupt endemic disease transmission, end morbidity and mortality, and prevent disability.
Saint Lucia is one in a series of GIDEON ebooks which explore all individual infectious diseases, drugs, vaccines, outbreaks, surveys and pathogens in every country of the world.
PAHO’s words on Saint Lucia’s communicable diseases:
The Director of PAHO, Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, marked his presence in the session held to initiate the elimination of more than 30 communicable diseases in Saint Lucia.
He said, “As we move forward in the pandemic recovery, it is time to give the Elimination Initiative a renewed, stronger and more mature push to reach a goal on communicable diseases that started right at the establishment of the Organization 120 years ago”.
Communicable diseases are diseases that can spread from one person to another person. These diseases are spread through touch, bodily fluids, and air.
During the closing of the session, the PAHO Director presented ‘Belize’s Minister of Health and Welfare’, Kevin Bernard, with the World Health Organization (WHO) certificate, recognizing the Central American country as malaria-free, the last in the region to achieve this goal. Belize reported its last autochthonous case of malaria in 2018 and, in May 2023, was certified malaria-free.
“This is the culmination of a long, hard-fought battle spanning seven decades,” Minister Bernard maintained.
He added, “None of this would have been possible without the unwavering support of grassroots organizations and the dedication of our health workers, the cornerstone of our success,”.
Prevailing disease in Saint Lucia:
Saint Lucia is currently plagued with the ‘Zika Virus’. Zika is a mosquito-borne disease which is spreading through the bug bites.
Symptoms of Zika disease– Fever, Headache, red eye and joint pain.
Similar diseases struck in Saint Lucia:
Although the situation with noncommunicable diseases like the Plague has improved, communicable diseases have had an increase in problems. The following are some of the diseases that infected people of Saint Lucia.
Stroke and Ischemic heart disease are the two deadliest cardiovascular diseases in Saint Lucia.
- A Stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted through a blocked artery or damaged blood vessel.
Symptoms of Stroke disease- Numbness, especially in one side of the body, trouble speaking and loss of balance.
It can lead to death as well.
- Ischemic Heart Disease- Ischemic Heart Disease is the common factor contributing to the rise of Strokes. It occurs when the Plague forms in major blood vessels in the heart, blocking blood flow. This can cause both heart attacks and strokes.
Although stroke and ischemic heart disease are the deadliest cardiovascular diseases in Saint Lucia, incidences of both are actually on a decline. Since 1990, stroke has had a four per cent decrease in mortality rate, and ischemic heart disease has had a 16 per cent decrease. Although these are small decreases, they are encouraging signs of improvement in Saint Lucia.