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Government to invest more in fighting non-communicable diseases

Published:Wednesday | February 18, 2015 | 2:14 AM

Minister of Health, Dr Fenton Ferguson, says the Government will be investing more in public education programmes to reduce the effects of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among the population.

Speaking at the opening of the Nannyville Health Centre, in Kingston, recently, he said the Government recognises the critical importance of health, and investing in public health programmes will guide the population and reduce the effects of NCDs.

The NCDs are lifestyle diseases, including cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension, caused by physical inactivity, poor diet and the excessive use of substances, such as alcohol and tobacco.

Some $3.5 billion was spent in 2014 on medical benefits for persons suffering from NCDs, through the National Health Fund (NHF).

The health ministry says as part of the Government’s drive to reduce NCDs, community health centres across the island are being improved to make health care services more easily accessible and affordable for beneficiaries, so that these diseases can be prevented.