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More Collaboration Needed in Tackling Violence

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Contact: Anthony Sammie

Monday, February 24, 2003 – “A multi-sectoral approach is necessary in order to combat the problems of violence and injuries in Saint Lucia.” The Minister responsible for Health, Honourable Damian Greaves made that statement at the Opening Ceremony of a workshop on Violence and Injuries held at Bay Gardens Hotel on Monday. The workshop organised by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) is geared towards developing guidelines for the establishment and strengthening of violence and Injury surveillance systems in Saint Lucia.

PAHO’s Caribbean Programme Coordinator, Veta Brown explained that the workshop comes on the heels of the formal launching of the World Report on Violence and Health for 2002. She also indicated that the ceremony was of paramount importance to the fight against violence.

“This activity, which precedes the formal launch, is a critical step in making a difference. A difference in reducing the impact of deaths, injuries, emotional and mental trauma, heartache and pain in our societies due to something unexplained, unwarranted, random and planned acts of man’s inhumanity to man,” said Brown.

Government, Minister Greaves noted, fully supports the workshop and its objectives. He believes that prevention must be the fundamental factor leading to the reduction in violence, not only in Saint Lucia but throughout the region.

The World Health Organisation, in its world report on violence and health, pointed out that violence was a major cause of death in the world especially among the 15 to 44 age group. The report recommended that there must be collaboration among the various sectors in a country in order to achieve proper results in the fight against violence.

In Saint Lucia, homicides were the sixth major cause of death in 2000, representing 3.7% of all deaths. Also in 2000, accidents represented the fifth principal cause of death in Saint Lucia, representing 7.3% of all deaths.

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