District meetings ‘Our health is our responsibility,’ says President Ramkalawan |01 June 2023
President Wavel Ramkalawan has called on every citizen to be responsible for his/her health given the high rate of obesity and the 180 patients following dialysis treatment due to health complications, costing the health authority R80 million a year.
He made the statement when answering a question during yesterday’s public meeting in Anse Royale at the University of Seychelles (UniSey) auditorium. The resident wanted to know what is being done to help people to pursue with their dialysis treatment abroad and the possibility of the country acquiring an ambulance helicopter to help in the fast transportation of patients across the country to the hospital.
Given that dialysis treatment is provided locally, President Ramkalawan said complicated cases for overseas treatment will depend on the assessment of the board.
He noted that there is a need to continue to promote the benefit of physical activities among our population, adding that 60% of women and 34% of children are obese.
He added that a physical programme will be launched very soon and he will lead it.
He noted that having an ambulance helicopter is a good idea and he immediately invited the private sector to come forward for a joint partnership.
President Ramkalawan said he will continue to make known Seychelles’ vulnerability to climate change and see that we receive help to repair damages to our environment caused by industrialised countries although world donors consider us as a high income country.
Following a suggestion by a resident to set up a climate change office at State House to look into funding for erosion projects in coastal areas, President Ramkalawan said each time he is on international missions he seeks funds on the world stage to combat climate change, while the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment headed by Minister Flavien Joubert, is also doing a good job in that area and they are well placed to do the job.
For his part, Minister Joubert said the ministry is looking at setting up a climate change council to advise government on recommendations and proposals that will help accelerate climate change projects in the country.
He added that his ministry is working with the Ministry of Finance, National Planning and Trade for the integration of climate change in the national planning.
Asked why the Agency for Social Protection (ASP) has restricted the minimum age to be a carer to 25 years old and above, Minister for Employment and Social Affairs Patricia Francourt said the aim is to have mature carers and cut down on abuse that was happening, especially among very young carers below the age of 25 years old who were not mature enough to take up such jobs as many skipped work.
With regard to when patients will be admitted at the Anse Royale hospital, Health Minister Peggy Vidot said they are waiting for the completion of renovation works.
Answering a question about the real status of the country’s population, Vice- President Ahmed Afif said although the figure was 100,000 in the latest population survey, this includes 20,000 foreigners. Therefore, Seychelles’ population is 80,000.
Asked about the possibility of having a permanent residence for the serving president, President Ramkalawan said government is working towards realising such a project and details will be provided later.
He noted that such an initiative is mainly related to logistic reasons, including cost cutting given that government will not have to upgrade the private residents of elected presidents.
Among other issues discussed by residents with President Ramkalawan and his delegation were the distribution of methadone, distribution of students’ report, beach park, decentralising of government services, motorable access road, way leave, dangers of pedestrian crossings near roundabouts, speed bumps at blind spots, return of the school’s dental service, bringing screening services closer to the community, technical regulations and standard for imported equipment especially electrical equipment to prevent fires and other accidents, and the sport complex.
During the meeting, President Ramkalawan congratulated the Arsu Volleyball Club for their good results in the African Volleyball Club Championship, in Tunisia last month and the owners of laïla Resort Seychelles for their investment in the development of the district.
At the start of the meeting, Minister for Lands and Housing, Billy Rangasamy, gave a summary of the ongoing housing projects in the district of Anse Royale.
He said the construction of 24 housing units is expected to kick off by end of October 2023 at Remiz Estate, while the construction of a block of 12 units at Mont Plaisir, sponsored by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will start by December 2023.
He added that the construction of another 24 units in Cap Bonm Zan will start by the end of 2024 to be followed by 42 units in either 2025 or 2026. He noted that 50 to 60 plots of land in Dan Banbou will be made available to applicants.
Minister Rangasamy stated that there are 51 housing applicants among those 17 made their applications more than 10 years old. There are also 25 applicants for mid-range condos while 110 people have applied for a plot of land.