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Barbados to reduce NCDs by 50 percent

By Melissa Rollock

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (GIS) – Eight out of 10 deaths in Barbados are caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs). As a result, the government has set a target of reducing new NCD cases by 50 percent, part of its Mission Barbados Declaration.

Minister of state in the ministry of health and wellness, Davidson Ishmael, said the implementation of the National Strategic Plan for NCD Control (2023-2030) reflects this urgency by providing a comprehensive framework consisting of eight priority areas, aimed at tackling the rising burden of NCDs.

Addressing the opening of the National Nutrition Centre’s Nutrition Conference on Wednesday, at the Radisson Aquatica Resort, held under the theme Good Nutrition: A Prescription for NCD Prevention and Control, minister Ishmael said:

“More specifically, the strategic plan emphasises the reduction of risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy consumption of alcohol, poor nutrition, and sedentary lifestyles; through educational initiatives and policy interventions targeting communities, schools, and workplaces.

“The plan also highlights the importance of NCD self-management and improving healthcare-provider interactions, with a focus on empowering patients and caregivers. Additionally, childhood obesity prevention efforts are prioritised through educational campaigns and creating supportive environments, particularly within schools. This healthier environment is centered on promoting appropriate levels of physical activity, front-of-package warning labels, and restricting the marketing of unhealthy products to children.”

Ishmael stated that it was imperative to involve persons living with NCDs in these efforts to ensure “inclusivity and responsiveness to their needs”.



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