As Jamaica tries to grapple with an out-of-control crime problem, much attention is not paid to another more silent but just as dangerous, killer - non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), NCDs - including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease - are collectively responsible for almost 70 per cent of all deaths worldwide. Almost three-quarters of all NCD deaths, and 82 per cent of the 16 million people who die prematurely or before reaching 70 years of age, occur in low and middle-income countries like Jamaica.
Director of Non-Communicable Diseases and Injuries Prevention in the Ministry of Health, Dr Tamu Davidson-Sadler, said that data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) shows that approximately 12,773 Jamaicans died from the four major NCDs in 2014.
"Non-communicable diseases are diseases that are not passed on from person to person and they are chronic in nature, meaning most of them are lifestyle diseases. The most common ones we are seeing are cancers, cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma," Dr Davidson-Sadler said.
Source: Jamaica Gleaner