Roseau, Dominica – December 27, 2007……… In the keynote address at a National Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases in Dominica, Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit highlighted the incidence of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (CNCDs) in the country.
As a follow-up to the CARICOM Heads of Government Summit on Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases held in Trinidad in July, 2007 and on the initiative of Dominica’s Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, the Government of Dominica, through the Ministry of Health and the Environment convened a National Summit on the epidemic recently at the Fort Young Hotel in Roseau.
According to Hon. Skerrit, the main causes of CNCDs in Dominica include an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco and alcohol abuse. Diseases of the circulatory system and cancers are the leading causes of death among Dominicans. The Prime Minister also revealed the following Strokes, heart disease and diabetes account for almost one third of deaths Cancers, especially prostate and breast impact significantly on the death toll One in four adults who receive routine check-ups suffer from high blood pressure One in eight adults suffer from diabetes 11% of children under the age of 5 are obese Simultaneously the behavioural risk factors which promote these diseases are becoming increasingly prevalent
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.”
The Prime Minister also pointed out that a large percentage of the health expenditure budget is spent on treating persons suffering from chronic non-communicable diseases. “ In Dominica, Government’s Health expenditure accounts for about 6.8% of Gross Domestic Product, a large percentage of this cost is usually targeted to secondary and tertiary level care of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases.”
The Summit on Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases was attended by the President of Dominica, His Excellency, Dr. Nicholas Liverpool and brought together members of Cabinet and Permanent Secretaries.
Also in attendance were Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Johnson, Director, Primary Care Services, Dr. Griffin Benjamin, National Epidemiologist, Dr. Paul Rickets, Professor Gerald Grell of Ross University School of Medicine, Ms. Alasia Samuel of the Pan American Health Organisation(PAHO) as well as officials from the Ministry of Health and the Environment. (Ends)