Health leaders urged to keep up NCD fight
Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton, is urging leaders in the health sector to remain persistent in the fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Jamaica.
He noted that seven out of every 10 deaths in Jamaica are related to some form of NCD, and as such, there should be no let-up in the campaign against the conditions, which include cancers, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
"We have a challenge on our hands that we have to cope with," Tufton said, while addressing the fourth National Non-Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Workshop on Friday at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.
He noted that the Government is committed to playing its role and "you as leaders must continue the process of making communities healthier by providing the information and encouragement, and stimulating [citizens] into action".
He said Jamaicans need to make NCD-prevention part of their responsibility, through healthy diet and regular physical exercise, avoiding smoking, and reducing tobacco use.
In 2014, the top-five causes of death in Jamaica were due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, with diabetes accounting for 12,773 or 68 per cent of deaths.
Thirty four per cent of NCD deaths occur between the ages of 30 and 70. It is projected that many of the people who will die from NCDs in the next 20 years, will be persons who are now middle-aged adults.
Tufton told participants in the forum that the Government is committed to reducing the risk of NCDs and its consequences.
The forum was held under the theme 'Getting to 2030: Taking Stock, the Non-Communicable Disease Response'.