(CMC) – The Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey has found that one in three Jamaicans is hypertensive; one in two is overweight/obese and and one in eight, suffers from diabetes,’ Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton has said.
“More than half of those who are suffering in these circumstances don’t even know it until it is too late,” he added.
Tufton said that Jamaicans needed to take responsibility for their health by making the necessary lifestyle changes in order to avoid non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart diseases.
“There is no prevention without taking responsibility; I have seen pain, suffering, people lose loved ones, cases that could have been avoided or prevented if certain basic steps were taken in the early stages,” he told the first in a series of road shows being staged by the Ministry of Health under the theme: ‘Taking Responsibility”.
According to Tufton, the Andrew Holness government is undertaking a number of initiatives aimed at reducing NCDs, among them the reduction of the sugar content in drinks and beverages served in schools.
Medical doctor at the Kingston Public Hospital, Phillip Coombs, said that NCDs “are not something you can catch from someone else.
“It’s from the way you live – a lifestyle disease – the things you do and the things you eat,” he said, noting that NCDs are very common in Jamaica, accounting for 68 per cent of deaths in men in 2016 and 74 per cent in women.