The Saint Lucia Diabetes and Hypertension Association (SLDHA) said its supports the move made by the current administration to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) on salt and remove the subsidy on sugar.
This is on the heels of an announcement by Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony that 15 percent VAT will be applied to salt and a subsidy of 10 cents per pound on sugar removed, bringing the price of sugar to $1 per pound.
Speaking to Saint Lucia News Online on Friday, May 16, Administrative Officer of the SLDHA Elene St.Clair said the association feels that the move is one that will support the fight against diabetes and hypertension, which remains one of the main causes of death on island.
The association has said that eating habits of locals have contributed to increased cases of persons suffering from the two diseases, which are closely linked to each other. A study conducted here in 2006 indicated that Saint Lucia had the highest cases of hypertension and diabetes. At least 20 percent of the total population was tested during the exercise.
As part of activities to mark, World Hypertension Day to be observed tomorrow, the SLDHA partnered with the American International University Saint Lucia to host a day of blood sugar and pressure testing at the Super J supermarket, Waterfront Castries branch.
Over 150 persons participated in the exercise and were also provided with educational materials to assist them with understanding the dangers of the two diseases and how they can reduce their chances of being affected.