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Non-communicable diseases cause most deaths in Jamaica

Published:Sunday | January 27, 2013 | 11:30 AM

Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson says over half of the country’s deaths are caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries.

This situation, Dr Ferguson says, is threatening Jamaica’s economic and social development.

The health ministry says NCDs are responsible for 56 per cent of all deaths in Jamaican, 20 per cent of which are caused by cancers.

Seeking to explain the impact of the high death rate attributed to NCDs, Dr Ferguson says treating these ailments costs the health ministry $170 million dollars annually. He equated non-communicable diseases to poverty, arguing that they both create a vicious cycle.

Dr Ferguson says it will take a concerted effort by the government and the society to put policies in place to solve the problems caused by NCDs in a cost effective way.