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Summit: Conquering NCDs takes effort by everyone

Department of Health Director, Motusa Tuileama Nua told Samoa News, both Samoa’s are seeing progress in the fight against NCDs and a multi-sector approach is the biggest reason for this advancement.  His statement came at the conclusion of the Fourth Annual Bilateral Health Summit that took place in Apia last week.


Public health agencies have been moving toward multi-sectoral approaches recently that involve all segments of society — communities, academia, the charitable and not-for-profit sector and the private sector because as the Public Health Agency of Canada has concluded from their experience, “complex public health challenges defy single solution approaches developed in isolation. By engaging multiple sectors of society, partners can leverage knowledge, expertise, reach and resources, allowing each to do what it does best, in working towards the common shared goal of producing better health outcomes.”


Motusa said the Department of Health is just a tool, or a resource for fighting NCDs, it is the people, of Tutuila, Aunu’u and Manu’a who will need to implement a healthy lifestyle.


He told Samoa News that his agency has been working closely with the Health teams in Samoa, to assure that the best healthy practices are captured and brought back to American Samoa for implementation. “The program fighting against NCD will be somewhat a challenge, however we will continue with the fight and assure our people know we are here to assist with the fight against NCDs.”


He also noted that the hospital CEO Joseph Davis Fleming and his doctors are linking up with DOH to fight against NCD for the first time.


More than 50 members of the delegation from American Samoa, including lawmakers, health officials, members of the media, those in the physical fitness programs attended the health summit.




At the conclusion of the summit, a resolution was endorsed in principle by the two Samoas who reaffirmed their commitment to address important NCD risk factors, notably the so-called SNAP (smoking, unhealthy nutrition, harmful use of alcohol and physical inactivity) factors.


The resolution acknowledged “the high, and still increasing, burden of NCDs caused by the four SNAP factors, and we are concerned about the rapid rise of overweight and obesity, especially in children and recognized the negative impact on the quality of life and well-being of the individual and of society as a whole and the high burden it puts on health systems and the economy. Both Samoa’s agreed it is timely to revisit, revitalize and strengthen our joint action through the social determinants of health, with a focus on supporting the most vulnerable groups in our countries.”


The 4th Bilateral Health Summit agreed in principal to the following:


to continue with the implementation of the existing SNAP work plan, and integrate the SNAP approach within the framework of the Social Determinants of Health, resulting in SNAPS;


to utilize the WHO crisis response package as a tool to monitor our progress within SNAPS day-to-day.


to use the Summit as a support mechanism where impact analysis on the technical and political commitments can be made.


to strengthen multisectoral action and health systems’ capacity in preventing and treating NCDs within comprehensive and integrated national strategies.


it is timely to request accountability of the private sectors by government led leadership.


to use the Health Summit as basis for annual reporting on progress made and therefore agreed to meet in American Samoa in 2014.