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
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,”
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.