Summary of Strategic Framework for Health Promotion in St Helena 2018-2019

The aim of the Strategic Framework for Health Promotion on St Helena for 2018-2019 is to reduce overweight/obesity and smoking in the Saint community. Worldwide evidence shows that losing weight and stopping smoking are the most two important ways people can reduce their risk of the diseases that are responsible for a large burden of illness, disability, and early death on the island: Type Two Diabetes, Heart disease, Stroke, Cancer. Among Saints One in 5 people are diabetic; and more than half of adults have high blood pressure (early sign of heart and circulation disease.) Almost 7 in 10 people are overweight or obese (EMIS, 2018), including 42% of schoolchildren; while 36% of men and 28% of women aged 20-65 smoke, and much higher among Saints 20-29 years old (50% of men and 42% of women).

The Strategic Framework was developed by working with a wide range of local people and organisations to identify the most important things that will help people make the lifestyle changes that will reduce their risk and improve their health, and the things that currently make these kind of changes difficult or unattractive.

The strategies address different areas and together are designed to create a community environment that makes healthy choices easier, to encourage more community involvement in health, and to strengthen the laws and policies that will encourage healthier behaviours and discourage unhealthy ones. This will be supported by a long-running campaign, based on community members’ own thoughts about how to encourage, motivate and support Saints to make the changes and choices that are needed in their own way and on their own terms. Alongside these actions in the wider community, there will be work to strengthen the health services that provide advice, information, and support to help people develop the skills they need to successfully maintain healthy behaviours.


What we aim to achieve by the end of 2019 :

  1. To reduce consumption of high sugar drinks, and high fat, high salt, high sugar snack foods;
  2. To increase the ‘swapping’ of healthier food and drink options to replace the less healthy ones;
  3. To increase physical activity participation across the population;
  4. To increase the number of smokers trying to quit.


How we will do this :

Action on Diet, Weight, Activity, and Smoking

  1. Community Campaign (Social Marketing) to promote easy, realistic choices and changes
  2. Workforce Wellbeing Programme
  3. Strengthen Community Centre role in promoting health

Action on Diet & Weight

  1. ‘Merchants Partnership for Health’
  2. ‘Hospitality Venues Partnership for Health’
  3. Health Directorate Healthy Food Model and adapt for other Institutions

Action on Physical Activity

  1. Develop Community Physical Activity skillbase
  2. Develop ‘easy-to-do’ popular community activity option
  3. Children’s Play Area Development

Action on Smoking

  1. Policy and law changes to make non smoking the community ‘norm’
  2. Provide and promote a ‘Quit Kit’ advice resource for people trying to quit
  3. Make SHG Smoke-Free – indoor, outdoor and smoke-free working time.

The full strategy document is available here:

Strategic Framework for Health Promotion in St Helena 

Healthy Drinks Choices Factsheet

Health Directorate – Healthy Drinks Choices Factsheet

SHG to become Smoke-Free from 1 July 2018

On 31 May –  ‘World No Tobacco Day’ – St Helena Government  announced a policy to make all SHG sites fully smoke-free, becoming a ‘Smoke-Free Government’ from Sunday, 1 July 2018.

SHG outside areas as well as inside will be smoke-free and smoking will no longer be allowed either by staff or public anywhere on site.

Read the full press release here: