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Call for action against NCDs

One health official today called for urgent action to be taken to curb the rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), noting that they will account for up to 86.3 percent of all deaths in Barbados by the year 2030.

The call came from senior medical officer, Dr Leslie Rollock, who delivered an address this morning on behalf of Minister of Health John Boyce, to mark to occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Sandy Crest Medical Centre.

“The 2014 annual report for Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases for the Barbados National Registry noted that almost 90 per cent of acute Myocardial Infarction patients also have hypertension, and almost 45 percent are obese.

“These projected trends are very disconcerting. Not only in Barbados but universally, these NCDs have been recognised as a major threat to health, economies and societies.

“Socio-economic progress has created conditions that favour the rise of these NCDs and we are therefore witnessing changes which require us to think broadly and to act comprehensively,” Dr Rollock said.


Dr Leslie Rollock

She added that the rise of NCDs has been thrust into the spotlight with the recent spate of sudden deaths.

“These sudden deaths, mostly occurring in public places, left Barbadians unnerved and calling for investigations into their cause.  However, according to our information, the majority of these deaths were the result of non-communicable diseases which were either poorly controlled, undiagnosed or untreated,” she said, noting that NCDs can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

“While it is clear that the health care sector is the major player in the fight against NCDs, we are by no means the only player in the battle.

“Since healthy living starts with each one of us, I also want to use this occasion to implore all of you to do your part in adopting heathy lifestyle habits in order to stay healthy and active into old age,” Dr Rollock told the gathering.

Dr Rollock said the Ministry of Health has taken a number of initiatives to help individuals and families better take charge of their health.

She pointed to the production and dissemination of food-based dietary guidelines, as well as guidelines for healthy and nutritious food in schools and age-specific guidelines for physical activity and exercise.

These initiatives, she noted, are in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs, 2013-2020 which was signed by member states and includes a set of targets for reducing the major risk factors of obesity, high blood pressure, tobacco use, physical inactivity, harmful use of alcohol and salt intake.

Dr Rollock also called on public and private health care providers to work closer together “as one integrated health care system” to cater to the country’s growing needs.

She noted that the Sandy Crest Medical Centre “has done well in this respect”, offering emergency, urgent and family care medicine, as well as playing “a critical role in delivering health services thereby taking some of the burden off the emergency sector and the polyclinics”.


7 Responses to Call for action against NCDs

  1. Sunshine Sunny Shine August 28, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    After saying all of that you failed to mention that attaining a healthy lifestyle in Barbados comes with quite a high price. Even getting a breadfruit in Barbados is no longer a plentiful supply subjected to the once give away. Barbados needs to develop Wellness Centres that provides acres of green spaces and recreational facilities to foster an environment of wellness. Also, people need work in order to fight the ever growing problem of stress in their lives. To talk about it is one thing but attaining it is another. Barbados is not a place that the average Joe can sustain healthy living.

  2. Asha August 28, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Smh. People always come with this nonsense about eating healthy in Barbados is os much more expensive than eating crappy. NO, IT IS NOT. Bajans need to learn how to eat properly, stop overeating, stop eating piles of cheap, non-nutritious foods like pie, shepherd’s pie, and the like, go buy their foods from the market (vegetables, meat, fish and the like), and COOK THEIR OWN FOOD. The above poster should say that eating period, whether healthfully or not is expensive in Barbados period because the cost of living here is high for EVERYTHING. Stop spreading that nonsense and lies around. When you eat healthfully, you know eating veggies and fruits that are in season, not those foreign fruits Bajans so love to buy like berries and the like that cost an arm and a leg, but skin up their noses at fruits like plums, ackees, golden apples etc which are in season right now I might add. Average Joe man needs to l earn to eat filling foods and not all those snacks that we seem to think are necessary for good health. They aren’t 2 or 3 solid meals a day of good filling foods (potatoes, breadfruit, yam, cornmeal pap etc. some fish or a bit of meat) and you’re good to go. Walk sometimes to the beach or something, stop hopping in your car every minute to drive everywhere. We’ve gotten lazy, that’s what we should say and convenience has become a way of our lives now. And what better recreational space could one want than the beach. Little 2 by 4 island with plenty of school pastures too. If you want to be healthy, it starts with you, nobody else.

    • Sunshine Sunny Shine August 28, 2016 at 3:18 pm

      Can they sustain it? A father plague by job lost is thinking about how he will get the money to pay his bills and provide food. Those who are barely making ends meet cannot go in the market and buy vegetables (costly venture), meat (costly venture) and fish (an even more costly venture). The exercise they need can only be done if the mind is comfortable and not bog down by life’s daily problems. When a person is in a desperate position the only thing they think about is survival. Health goes through the eddoes and what food is cheap and available does not look at carrots and fish. But good points anyway.

      • Asha August 29, 2016 at 7:50 am

        And your comment proves that you are not a person who goes to the market. I have never seen meat, fish nor vegetables more expensive than in a supermarket, but keep telling yourself that markets more expensive. I have bought fish for $5 a pound. That’s 16 oz of fish for $5. 8oz is $2.50. A can of tuna contains roughly 5oz and costs about $2 a can. Smh. Exercise just needs to be done. Period. Put in some headphones in the fancy smartphones wee all have, listen to some music or radio or something and walk. Too many excuses. That same father you alluded to, he can de-stress, exercise and spend time with his son by playing some good football or some other sport with him a couple times a week. but we’ve become so much like USA, quick to find a reason why we can’t do, before we find what we can do to fix our problems. This is what we’re celebrating after 50 years. The death of our population. Happy Independence Barbados.

        • Sunshine Sunny Shine August 29, 2016 at 11:19 am

          You are right, I don’t go to the market because I no longer live in Barbados. However, I am not out of touch. I am talking about sustainability. Health is not here today and wait next month to start back activity. Also, if read my comment carefully you will se that I indicated other factors that impact on persons attaining a healthy lifestyle. Its not just about the eating and exercising, its also about the state of mind.

  3. jrsmith August 28, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    People all we have to look after our own families , stop waiting on others to do for you ..

  4. Tony Webster August 29, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Dr. Rollock, many thanks for confronting this monstrous elephant in the room!! Your greatest challenge , however, is in defining that precise spot where apprpriate action, ( indeed, co-combined, co-ordinated actions) need to be made , to start what will be a process towards better national health.

    If we were not burdened with disparate big-brain folks in charge of their separate little fiefdoms of education; “health”; Q.E.H.; Education”; School-principals and P.T.A.’s; Business & Commerce; (food) manufacturing; Sports Councils (yes, these folks see flab and incipient poor fitness in our youth, perhaps sooner than most others) ;National Standards (including food standards); public radio and T.V. broadcasting…one could put all of these into ONE room, wid ONE chairman; wid ONE purpose: to actually DO something, to actualy TAKE ACTION. Yes, a Thursduh would be a good day for holding such meetings!!

    A comprehensive plan, followed by defined actions, and dead-lines, is the only way to make a real change to our “national health-index”. It is too easy, too casual, to say , it’s a “Ministry of Health” problem. It WAAAAY more sensible, for ALL ministries to collaborate in creating the plan, and to then impelement as we never have before! A starting-point would be:
    INFORM the public of the menace, like airing professionally-made advertising / marketing programme (crafted by a top-class ad/marketing group -give G.I.S. a rest, please) using TV and Social media , schools; sporting groups etc…EVERYWHERE, and using REAL PEOPLE to testify who have escaped the assauts of stroke, heart-attack, amputations etc etc. to tell their own stories and how to AVOID repetitions by others.

    Just ask the guy at the top of the table on Thursdays…to come on board. Please, Sir…Dr. Rollock cannot doit by herself; the heart-and-strioke foundation, they too, can but try, but YOu Sir…can do better. A lot better.

    PS: This idiot here writing, suffered several years back, a T.I.A.; arrhythmia; clogged-up carotid arteries. Took appropriate medical interventions, but more importantly, changed my losing 45 lbs. by eating better and walking day like crazy. Now feel much better, feel younger, and looking for something younger…( to walk with me…shame on you!) IF I can…SO CAN YOU.


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