Assistant Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations
Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Carvin Malone has said that improving the quality of care for persons living with chronic diseases is high on his ministry’s agenda.
Honourable Malone was at the time addressing the launch of the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) which is an initiative by the Ministry of Health and Social Development and the Lifestyle Medicine Institute based in Loma Linda, California.
The minister said the ministry has taken the necessary steps to participate in the health improvement programme for the benefit of the health of the people of the Virgin Islands.
“It is against the background of the findings of the WHO STEPS Survey that the Ministry of Health and Social Development had signed a two-year contract with Lifestyle Medicine Institute to use its Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) as a community-based initiative to prevent and reduce non-communicable diseases and their risk factors in the population,” Honourable Malone stated.
Honourable Malone outlined that the Ministry of Health and the BVI Health Services Authority developed a three-year chronic care action plan to improve the management and control of persons living with Type II Diabetes and Hypertension.
“These two diseases were selected because statistics have shown that 90% of the patients seeking dialysis treatment at Pebbles Hospital is due to the complication of uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension,” he further added.
Meanwhile, Founder of CHIP, Dr. Hans Diehl is in the Territory conducting a series of informative sessions among the Clergy, Health Professionals, and the wider community. The purpose of these sessions is to share information with participants about improving their health and well-being, and addressing issues of chronic diseases by implementing a lifestyle change through healthy eating.
Dr. Diehl commended the efforts that are being made to change the behaviours of persons by providing them with better choices towards a healthier lifestyle.
Dr. Diel said, “We have to realise today that persons with the correct information and instruction, and persons who are well motivated can do more for their health in terms of their chronic diseases than any physician, any hospital, any medication, any procedure. Persons need to understand that they have a great opportunity to do something about these diseases we thought were inescapable. We can do something about hypertension, diabetes, overweight and heart diseases.”
Dr. Diehl is described as one of America’s 20 Super-Heroes of the Health Movement. He is a Clinical Professor of Preventive Medicine at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine. He has also offered more than 30 years of leadership in the fast-growing field of Lifestyle Medicine, and pioneering efforts as an epidemiologically trained lifestyle interventionist with the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP).
The informative sessions continue on Wednesday, July 10 with a public meeting in Virgin Gorda titled “Taking Charge of your Health”, at the Catholic Community Centre from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.