[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Ministry of Health has launched a five day training exercise for the Wellness Warriors, where it was revealed that Cardiovascular diseases account for most NCD deaths or 17.3 million people annually, followed by cancers [7.6 million], respiratory diseases [4.2 million], and diabetes [1.3 million1]. These four groups of diseases account for around 80% of all NCD deaths.
According to Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran, “Over the past seven years, many countries and international organisations have identified the epidemic of NCDs as the most serious emerging public health threat.”
Cigarette smoking and second hand smoking, alcohol abuse, wrong foods [poor diet] and too much salt [which the Minister referred to as white death] and lack of exercise are the factors accountable for the rapid increase in NCDs.
He also addressed the reshaping of the market to address healthy foods. He looked at the possibility of intervening in the school canteens to determine a stricter and more regulated diet for children and to add an environmental component, suggested foods can be placed in a recyclable and biodegradable box.
“We hope to get a massive army of people who know to perform basic tasks, example pressure and sugar testing in every part of the society. Also, they will have a strong health literacy component,” the Minister explained.
He reiterated the recognised need for the creation of a national or presidential commission on NCDs. He said it was proposed that the commission be patterned after the same module used to fight the epidemic of HIV/AIDS, which is now almost a chronic disease.
He explained that a coordinator of NCDs has been appointed and a small NCD unit will be established within the Ministry of Health. Also the issue of teenage pregnancy will be targeted along with, promoting healthy choices and health literacy in schools by the Wellness Warriors. On September 13 a Wellness Camp will be held at the Square of the Revolution.
[Extracted and modified from GINA]