FROM LEFT: Professor Clive Landis, Bishop Michael Maxwell, and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kenneth George were among those who came out to celebrate the BNR’s 10th Anniversary Extravaganza.
NCDs threaten progress
Barbados has made significant strides in the development of the health care sector, however, the ever growing incidences of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) threaten this progress.
This comment was made by Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kenneth George, as he delivered remarks during the Barbados National Registry’s 10th Anniversary Extravaganza, which took place yesterday morning.
“We must be proud of the fact that the health sector in Barbados has made significant progress in terms of access to quality health care and, indeed, the range of services provided. However, this progress is constantly being threatened by the increasing incidences of chronic non-communicable diseases,” he said.
“I believe that most of you are aware that chronic, non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, and some cancers account for the major causes of morbidity and mortality in Barbados. In fact, statistics from our polyclinics indicate that hypertension is the most common NCD.”
Dr George noted that in order for our health care system to continue to grow, statistics and reliable information were necessary to discern causes of mortality, as well as guide policymakers in making policies that are aimed at promoting health and wellness.
He commended the work done by the BNR, which is an information system for public health action meant to provide descriptive information concerning the number of cases, deaths, access to services and the like, as it played a major role in helping the Ministry track trends in critical diseases which continue to affect large numbers of our population.
“The Ministry of Health and Wellness intends to encourage and to promote all aspects of health and wellness, the tenets of which will be incorporated into our health care planning process,” he said.
“Together with the NCD Commission, the National Task Force on Wellness will focus on community-based prevention and intervention in order to reduce the main risk factors for the development of NCDs.”
He added that this was critical as strong medical evidence has shown that the prevention of NCDs through healthy lifestyle choices was the most cost effective and sustainable way to tackle NCDs, as well as support positive social development.