‘Unhealthy’ new year for thousands of Dominicans

ROSEAU, Dominica, December 28, 2007 – One in every three people who die in Dominica, die from either a stroke, heart disease, or complications from diabetes, Roosevelt Skerrit has announced.

He added that one in four adults who go to the doctor for a regular medical check also suffer from high blood pressure while more than one in every 10 Dominican children under the age of five are obese.

The prime minister said that the secondary and tertiary care – that is specialized care – for Dominicans with non-communicable diseases (CNCDs) is costing the government these that the country 6.8% of its GDP – about EC$55 million according to statistics from the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

The reason for the CNCDs, he said, include an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco and alcohol abuse.

The Dominican leader also told participants at the Summit that Dominica’s aging population poses its own challenges.

“Our aging population profile speaks to the importance of developing a comprehensive multi-sectoral approach to the control of non-communicable diseases in Dominica,” he told a national summit on CNCDs, adding that behaviours which promote these risk factors were becoming “increasingly prevalent”.

The summit was a follow-up to a CARICOM summit held in Trinidad in July.

The purpose is to learn about the extent of the chronic diseases and devise means and ways of dealing with them.