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Posted: Friday 17 December, 2021 at 12:08 PM

Minister Nisbett: NCDs mortality rate trending downwards

By: Staff Reporter,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - DESCRIBED as one of the leading killers in St. Kitts and Nevis, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are said to be on the decline, which is a positive sign for the Federation.


    Health officials over the years on both islands have been pleading with residents to take their diet and overall health seriously, as the instances of NCDs were responsible for 83 percent of the deaths reported in the Federation.


    There has been an uptick in cases of diabetes, cancer, heart disease and hypertension in recent years due in a large part to poor eating habits, including excessive intake of alcohol, fatty foods and sugary beverages.


    In her presentation at the National Assembly to support the 2022 Budget Appropriations, Minister of Health Akilah Byron-Nisbett disclosed that there was a 20 percent decline in the number of deaths reported from NCDs over the last five years.


    Reflecting on talks over the years of the impact of NDCs on people’s lives and the country as a whole, the Minister noted that the Federation has stepped up measures to reduce the instances and the long term impact, which is now bearing fruits with the decline.


    “Our epidemiological statistics have revealed that over the period of 2015-2020, the average mortality data, that is the number of deaths associated with diabetes, high blood pressure, are notably trending downwards; and we now see 63 percent as opposed to the 83 percent in that rate,” the Minister announced.


    She pointed to community outreach and lifestyle changes as the leading factors for the decline, while at the same time increasing the detection and linking those cases to management and care. 


    “...I am seeing the glaring statistics and observing the adverse effects that NCDs have on individuals, families, communities and our health system. I am extremely pleased to share that having engaged in robust outreach activities to reduce the incidents and impact of Non-Communicable Diseases, the Ministry of Health has realised significant  returns,” added Byron-Nisbett.


    But even as the Minister disclosed those figures, there is still concern that new cases are popping up due to poor eating habits and lack of exercise. However, the Government will step up measures to build on the success of decreasing the mortality rate.


    It is expected that over the next two years, the Ministry of Health will complete its rollout of a new project of capacity building for the prevention and control of Chronic Metabolic Diseases in St. Kitts and Nevis.


    That project forms part of a lager three-prong approach that the Ministry has adopted to combat the challenges association with NCDs.


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