(ZIZ)– Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) in the federation has been categorized as a health and development issue for St. Kitts and Nevis, as well as the wider Caribbean region.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Patrick Martin said that the impact of NCD’s can be calculated in many ways.
“The impact is measured not only in premature illness, premature disability and premature death but also as opportunities lost to the advancement of the country’s GDP,” he said.
Dr. Martin said that the likelihood of some persons affected by NCD’s contributing to the economic growth of the country is slim.
“In fact GDP is consumed to manage those persons, hence several years ago through the auspices of the NCD Coordinator Ms. Edwards, we calculated that somewhere around 2-5% of GDP is consumed by NCD’s.”
The Chief Medical Officer, who addressed health stakeholders at the launch of the National Policy and Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCD’s said that non-communicable diseases are stimulated by the choices people make and the choices made for them.
According to the National Health Information Units of St. Kitts and Nevis, hypertension affects one in three adults in the federation while diabetes affects one in five adults. St. Kitts and Nevis is also said to be on the edge of an influx of childhood and adolescent diabetes.
The Ministry of Health’s National Policy and Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCD’s is a five year plan running from 2013- 2017.