A National Health and Wellness Commission for St. Vincent and the Grenadines was launched here on Tuesday at the NIS Conference Room.

The commission which will serve for 3 years is said to be broad based consisting of persons from the public and private sectors, non governmental organisations, persons living with non communicable diseases, faith based organisations, and the media.

While the main focus of the commission is on noncommunicable diseases it will incorporate all areas of health including communicable diseases and mental health.

The aim of the commission is to support the Ministry of Health, Wellness & the Environment in establishing health and wellness policies, responding to threats from communicable and noncommunicable diseases, building capacity for community interventions, strengthening institutions and ensuring timely interventions to address regional and international resolutions, commitments and agreements.

Chairperson of the commission Dr. Timothy Providence says the commission will serve as a coordinating body facilitating communication and collaboration among parties who may regularly exchange information and engage in joint action on health care matters.

Welcoming the formation of the commission, Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment, Luke Browne, points out that noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) continue to be the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in SVG placing the highest burden on the country’s healthcare system.

According to the Health and Wellness Minister a dedicated body like the commission will help SVG to make further progress in the fight against NCDs and other diseases.