- Cabinet has given approval for the Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Strategic Plan 2013/2018.
- The plan will serve as a roadmap towards the goal of reducing NCDs.
- The Minister urged Jamaicans to embrace healthier lifestyles in order to significantly reduce cardiac-related illnesses and other NCDs.
Cabinet has given approval for the Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Strategic Plan 2013/2018.
This was announced by Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson on Thursday, November 28, during the official re-opening ceremony of the Charles Chin Loy Health Centre in Western Kingston.
The plan will serve as a roadmap towards the goal of reducing NCDs, including but not limited to diabetes, cancer, and kidney failure.
Dr. Ferguson said that one of the main goals of the Government is to reduce by 25 per cent, the number of avoidable deaths related to NCDs by 2025.
“We will be working assiduously, especially as it relates to our primary care health centres, to move towards our 25 per cent reduction. I am very happy that the Government has now brought on board the approval of that strategic plan,” he said, noting that the document was completed after much stakeholder consultation.
NCDs are responsible for approximately 70 per cent of deaths in Jamaica and are the leading cause of disability in the population.
The Minister, in the meantime, urged Jamaicans to embrace healthier lifestyles in order to significantly reduce cardiac-related illnesses and other NCDs.
He said that often, people deal with the curative aspect of these diseases, instead of addressing the risk factors, which include physical inactivity, inappropriate diet, excessive use of alcohol, and tobacco use.
He underscored that the ban on smoking in specified places is a “clear and deliberate strategy to deal with the use of tobacco and its impact”.
The ban was imposed on July 15, with the implementation of the Public Health (Tobacco Control) Regulations 2013.
The regulations are consistent with the Government’s 2013/14 strategic priority focus on human capital development in relation to health care.
The tobacco regulations outline places where smoking is prohibited, such as all enclosed places, public transportation, workplaces, government buildings, health facilities; sport, athletic and recreational facilities for use by the public; educational institutions; areas specifically for use by children, and places of collective use, such as bus stops.
They also require the use of large, graphic health warnings on tobacco products, instead of the text only warnings currently used.
The 2010 Global Youth Tobacco Survey, undertaken by the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA), indicates that just over 40 per cent of young persons, aged 13 to 15 years, have smoked at least once and, alarmingly, over 19 per cent of those who have ever smoked started under the age of 10 years.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, tobacco kills up to half of its users and causes the death of nearly six million people each year, including more than 600,000 non-smokers exposed to second hand smoke.
The statistics also show that across the globe, every six seconds, someone dies from tobacco-related illness; one in 10 adults dies every year because of tobacco; and nearly 80 per cent of the world’s one billion smokers live in low and middle income countries like Jamaica.