Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Work is continuing on the formulation of a National Policy for Healthy Aging following the hosting of a two day workshop by the Ministry of Health and Social Development.
Representatives from several Government agencies, statutory bodies and the Healthy Aging committee strategised ways to ensure that the Territory’s seniors can age with independence, care, self-fulfillment, dignity and participation within society. Seniors having access to economic security, food, health care, shelter, clothing, transportation, and are safeguarded from exploitation and mental and physical abuse were also discussed.
Country Programme Specialist, with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), Ms. Katrina Smith facilitated the workshop. She said, “The elderly population is a vulnerable population because some of them have different needs than the regular population pertaining to access to buildings, health, visibility, non-communicable diseases, and income and financial security that need to be planned for. We also want to ensure that seniors are a part of the social, cultural and political life of the community.”
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Irad Potter said the workshop was an excellent way to get the ball rolling on this very important topic of healthy aging.
Dr. Potter added, “Right now we have an ongoing multi-agency collaboration to develop short, medium and long term plans, policies and initiatives to get us to our goal of providing a healthy aging environment for the Territory’s seniors.”
Agencies represented at the workshop included Town and Country Planning Department, Central Statistics Office, Social Security Board, BVI Health Services Authority, Ministry of Communications and Works, Ministry of Health and Social Development, Adina Donovan Home and the Healthy Aging Committee.
Government is committed to ensuring that older people, people with disabilities and their families are valued, lead independent lives and have the opportunity to participate and contribute fully in community life.