Health Directorate receives UN Award for prevention and control of Non-communicable Diseases

  • Health Directorate receives UN Award
  • Award recognises St Helena’s successful implementation of Island-wide Health Promotion Strategic Framework
  • Winners announced at virtual meeting of the Friends of the Task Force on the occasion of the UN General Assembly

St Helena Government’s (SHG) Health Directorate has received the 2020 United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (NCD) Award. This follows a nomination from Public Health England (PHE) on St Helena’s successful implementation of the Island-wide Health Promotion Strategic Framework which has helped the Island achieve significant progress in reducing NCD risk factors.

Winners were announced on Thursday, 24 September 2020, at the virtual meeting of the Friends of the Task Force on the occasion of the UN General Assembly.

Chairman of the Public Health Committee, Councillor Derek Thomas, said:

“Receiving this Award is really positive for St Helena.  Our Health Promotion Strategic Framework sets the pathway for long-term initiatives in addressing the high level of NCDs we are experiencing on the Island. 

“It is pleasing and encouraging to see a number of citizens in our society taking responsibility in addressing their general health lifestyles.  I am also grateful to our local importers for working in partnership with our health professionals.”

St Helena’s application was facilitated by PHE, the implementing partner for the Public Health Project, under the Overseas Territories ‘Governance’ Programme of the UK Government funded Conflict, Stability and Security Fund. The application highlighted the community approach of St Helena’s Health Promotion Strategic Framework where emphasis was to make healthier practices/decisions easier and move away from a normalised culture of unhealthy behaviours. At the end of 2019 significant progress had been made on key outcomes within the framework.

Sarah Williams from PHE who put together the application said:

“PHE has been proud to support the work of the Health Directorate and wider community on St Helena to address some of the main causes of Non-communicable Disease. We are delighted that the achievements on St Helena have been recognised by the UN. We look forward to continuing our work with St Helena to help those on the Island make healthier choices to benefit themselves and their families.”

Acting Director of Health, Janet Lawrence, concluded:

“The Health Directorate is delighted to have our hard work and commitment to the Island’s health acknowledged in the award from the UN.  The award has been achieved due to the support and commitment from many key partners across the Island in helping to implement and embed the Health Promotion Strategic Framework. The Health Directorate would like to thank Public Health England, political partners, members from the private sector, SHG and the public in continuing to support this work.”

The United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force (UNIATF) on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases Awards 2020 recognises achievements during 2019 on multisectoral action in the prevention and control of NCDs, mental health and the wider NCD-related Sustainable Development Goals.

Notes to Editors

St Helena Government’s Health Promotion Strategic Framework 2018-2019 (HPSF) was introduced in 2018. The framework had five strategic priorities, with a focus on working across government, private sector, and community stakeholders:

  • To reduce smoking by introducing cessation support alongside a smoke-free Government policy, increasing taxation and introducing comprehensive tobacco control legislation
  • To address the food environment by working with importers and retailers to introduce sugar free drinks, introducing healthier food policies in Government food suppliers
  • Increase physical activity with a focus on walking, through health promotion messages and Government employees weekly time activity grant
  • Embedding workforce wellbeing throughout Government directorates with central leadership from St Helena Government
  • Supporting health service reorientation to prevent and management of chronic disease by training staff in motivational approaches and planning a tier two community weight management service.

#StHelena #AltogetherHealthier #UNAward #UNIATF #Success


30 September 2020

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470