Thu | Dec 9, 2021

Why Jamaica Moves?

Published:Thursday | June 15, 2017 | 12:00 AM

The issue of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is a major health threat in Jamaica. In the past 10 years, there has been an increase in the prevalence of NCDs and related deaths. In 2014, preliminary data revealed that NCDs, specifically cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes accounted for 68 per cent of all deaths in the country. The survey further revealed that by 2030, the prevalence of diabetes among persons between ages 15-74 years is expected to increase by 47 per cent.

It is projected that many of the people who will die from NCDs in the next 20 years, will be today's young to middle-age adults. As it is, we are starting our journey towards curbing the trend of avoidable untimely deaths and the high public health costs caused by NCDs

On World Health Day (April 7, 2017), The Ministry of Health launched Jamaica Moves - the country's coordinated national response to the increased incidences of NCDs. Through education, engagement, and the building of supportive environments, the programme hopes to reduce NCDs by 25 per cent by the year 2025.

Physical inactivity has a major health impact on the world and elimination of physical inactivity would remove between 6-10 per cent of these major NCDs and increase life expectancy

This has become increasingly important given that approximately 70% of deaths in Jamaica are due to the four major NCDs- coronary heart disease (CHD), type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancers, with 35 percent of these deaths occurring below age 70 (premature).