October 22, 2019

Cayman Islands Minister’s message for World Health Day

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Health Minister Dwayne Seymour: To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the World Health Organisation (), the Cayman Islands will be holding activities from 9 to 13 April. WHO’s constitution came into force on 7 April 1948. This year, the Cayman Islands will celebrate a week of activities commencing on Monday, 9 April.

For the past seven decades, the organisation’s principle has remained the same: that all people should be able to realise their right to the highest possible level of health and healthcare.

This year, the focus of World Health Day is Universal Health Coverage, which means health coverage for everyone, everywhere, without discrimination.

As Minister for Health, this is a principle very close to my heart. I believe strongly that everybody in the Cayman Islands should have access to the best healthcare available.

Health is a human right and nobody should have to choose between good health and other necessities. Neither should anyone face financial hardships to access the health services that they need.

All countries approach universal healthcare coverage in different ways and there is no “one size fits all”.

While I recognise that healthcare treatments can be expensive, it is important that we in the Cayman Islands do everything possible to take care of our health as best we can.

That is one of the reasons that the Public Health Department is offering free screenings next week for diabetes and hypertension.

The earlier we can detect conditions, the sooner we can treat them. Early diagnosis can make a huge difference in the success of treating illnesses, sometimes meaning the difference between life and death.

I therefore urge you to take advantage of the screenings, which are being held in all district health centres on Grand Cayman, including the general practice clinic at the Cayman Islands Hospital, and Faith Hospital on Cayman Brac, from 9 to 13 April between 9am and 1pm. Residents on Little Cayman can simply call their clinic to make an appointment.

As WHO celebrates its milestone year, I take this opportunity to pay tribute to the huge difference the organisation has made around the world since it was formed. Through partnerships across the globe, immense strides have been made in the fight against infectious diseases such as flu and HIV, and non-communicable illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.

While many of us take these improvements in healthcare for granted, we in the Cayman Islands must be grateful for the benefits we now enjoy, thanks to WHO’s efforts.

IMAGE:
Dwayne Seymour

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