St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Saturday September 12, Caribbean Wellness Day-themed ” Power through Collective Action- Stronger Together” finds the Caribbean still recording over 70 percent of deaths due to non-communicable diseases.
Junior Health Minister Hazel Brandy Williams in her official statement to mark the occasion said that the number of persons suffering from NCD’s continues to rise globally.
“The prevalence of NCDs such as cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory, and cardiovascular disease, continues to surge globally. These diseases are linked to more than 70 percent of deaths in the region, which is similar to the current global average. The increased mortality burden associated with NCDs in the Caribbean region is due to the rise in risk factors such as tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol, and unhealthy diets.
“Due to the rising cost of NCD’s, the conversation has advanced into a Global Health Policy Agenda, and have now expanded to include a coalition of actors working on different policy approaches for their prevention and control. This year’s theme, therefore, encourages us to work together collectively in addressing some of these complex health and social problems associated with NCD’s.”
The minister said collective action leads to community empowerment.
“We continue to remind our people to consume less sugar and salt, drink more water, move more, sit less, get sufficient rest, limit your alcohol intake and most importantly, make exercise a daily habit. In the fight against NCD’s, we don’t have to go it alone.”
The Caribbean Development Bank in April reported that Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs), such as hypertension, diabetes, cancers, and chronic respiratory diseases, account for approximately three out of four deaths and over US$1 billion per year in direct and indirect costs.
The CDB recently approved a grant of close to US$200,000 to assist the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in implementing Caribbean Moves, an initiative to help reduce and control non-communicable diseases in CDB’s Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs).
The grant to CARPHA was made in the context where 40% of NCD deaths occur in people at their most productive years – between the ages of 30 and 69 years old.