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Minister of Water and Housing, Dr. Horace Chang, has said that the lifestyle disease, hypertension, is one of the major chronic disorders affecting persons in the country, which eventually leads to lower productivity at the workplace.
“This is really one of our chronic problems, and as a country, we have to find a way, not only to treat it, but hopefully we can reverse some of the trends, thereby reducing some of our socio-economic problems,” Dr. Chang said.
The Minister was addressing participants at the opening of the Second Annual Nephrology and Hypertension Conference, being held at the Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, St. James, from January 25 to 27. The conference has attracted several distinguished presenters from Jamaica, other Caribbean countries and the United States of America, who will discuss issues relating to health concerns, as well as related research and developments.
Dr. Chang observed that debt-ridden governments with limited resources would always be faced with the challenge of effectively managing chronic dysfunctions, which create the kinds of issues in the society that could not be ignored.
“Such dysfunctions vary from chronic diseases to chronic social problems, such as endemic poverty and violence, squatting and general social dysfunctions and a disregard for law and order and for regulations,” the Minister said. “If we are going to overcome the chronic social and economic problems that this country has, we need the participation, the contribution and the involvement of persons who can analyse objectively and make recommendations,” Dr. Chang argued.He expressed the hope that all participants at the conference would share their knowledge and expertise and come up with workable and realistic solutions to address the problems, adding that this is of critical importance, not only to Jamaica, but also to the Caribbean and the wider world.
“In seeking to overcome the kinds of challenges we all face across the region, we crave quality contributions from persons of trained minds, who can analyse and arrive at meaningful solutions,” the Minister told the participants.