Examine the contribution made to the health care in Trinidad in context with the Alma Arthur declaration and explore a way forward in a context of a renewed commitment to the overall strength of our health system.
In 1993, the ministers responsible for health in the Caribbean countries called for the development of a Caribbean Charter of Health Promotion, which was held in Trinidad and Tobago (Healthy Caribbean Coalition, 2012).
The Caribbean Charter highlighted two primary goals of health promotion:
ï Creating a new approach to health promotion that aims at strengthening and empowering individuals and communities to control, improve their physical, mental health social wellness.
ï It also looks at the prevention and control of diseases that will support the productivity, creativity and spiritual fulfillment of the Caribbean people (Pattron, 2002).
WHAT IS PRIMARY HEALTH CARE
PHC is essential health care that is a socially appropriate, easily accessible, first level of care which is provided by a suitably trained workforce supported by integrated referral systems and in a way that gives priority to those most in need, maximises community and individual self-reliance and participation and involves collaboration with other sectors. It includes the following:
ï¶ health promotion
ï¶ illness prevention
ï¶ care of the sick
ï¶ community development
The principle of primary health care:
ï¶ Health care services should be equally accessible to all
ï¶ There should be maximum individual and community involvement in the planning and operation of health care services.
ï¶ The focus of care should be on prevention and promotion rather than cure.
ï¶ Appropriate technology should be used i.e. methods, procedures, techniques and equipment
ï¶ Education concerning prevailing health problems and methods of preventing and controlling them
ï¶ Promotion of food supply and proper nutrition
ï¶ The provision of safe water and basic sanitation
ï¶ Maternal and child health care, including family planning
ï¶ Immunization against the major infectious diseases
ï¶ Prevention and control of locally endemic diseases
ï¶ Appropriate treatment of common diseases and injuries
ï¶ Provision of essential drugs.
The United Nations Millennium Development Goals are eight goals that all 191 UN member states have agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015. The United Nations Millennium Declaration, signed in September 2000 commits world leaders to combat poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and discrimination against women. The Millennium Development Goals are derived from this Declaration, and all have specific targets and indicators.
ï¶ To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger;
ï¶ To achieve universal primary education;
ï¶ To promote gender equality and empower women;
ï¶ To reduce child mortality;
ï¶ To improve maternal health;
ï¶ To combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases;
ï¶ To ensure environmental sustainability; and
ï¶ To develop a global partnership for development.
ï¶ Community health centers e.g. antenatal services, family planning, health card, CDAP
ï¶ Health visitors.
ï¶ Health educators. E.g. health fairs, walks
ï¶ Community outreach programmers. e.g. Minister of Community Development culture and arts, HIV outreach programmes, Aripo community outreach, outreach in Laventille,
ï¶ Church group e.g. Roman Catholic Church. SDA , Anglican
ï¶ Recreational programmes.eg Elderly aquatic programme, YMCA, Red Cross Society, YBTT, NGC League ,
ï¶ Healthy School Programmes. e.g. vision and hearing screening, GSHC global school based health survey, immunization, school feeding programme
ï¶ Healthy Workplace Programme. e.g. work policy for HIV persons, daycare for working mothers,
ï¶ Home Wellness Programmes
FORMULATE HEALTHY PUBLIC POLICY
ï¶ Health promotion goes beyond health care. It puts health on the agenda of policy makers in all sectors and at all levels, directing them to be aware of the health consequences of their decisions and to accept their responsibilities for health.
ï¶ Health promotion policy combines diverse but complementary approaches including legislation, fiscal measures, taxation and organizational change. It is coordinated action that leads to health, income and social policies that foster greater equity.
ï¶ Joint action contributes to ensuring safer and healthier goods and services, healthier public services, and cleaner, more enjoyable environments.
ï¶ Health promotion policy requires the identification of obstacles to the adoption of healthy public policies in non-health sectors, and ways of removing them. The aim must be to make the healthier choice the easier choice for policy makers as well.
ï¶ This is a preconceived plan that guides action to achieve healthy outcomes.
ï¶ Use of seat belts.
ï¶ Use of breathalyzer.
ï¶ Development of smoke free space.
ï¶ Development of early vaccination for every child and adult.
ï¶ Pre-school and school availability and accessibility for every child.
ï¶ Proper nutrition for everyone.
BUILDING ALLIANCES WITH MEDIA TO PROMOTE THE HEALTH MESSAGE
ï¶ Television. Radio
CHALLENGES OF THE CARIBBEAN CHARTER FOR HEALTH PROMOTION
ï¶ Human Resources.
ï¶ Political will.
ï¶ Development policy.
ï¶ Rate of diffusion of the health message in different communities.
ï¶ Healthy Caribbean Coalition, (2012) Caribbean Charter for Health Promotion. Retrieved: http://www.healthycaribbean.org/publications/caribbean-charter-for-health-promotion.html
ï¶ Whitehead, D. (2009) Reconciling the differences between health promotion in nursing and general health promotion. International Journal of Nursing Studies 46. 865â”874
ï¶ World Health Organization [WHO] (2012) Health topics: Health education Retrieved from: http://www.who.int/topics/health_education/en/