Barbados gets tough in the fight against non-communicable diseases

Barbados’ Health and Wellness Minister, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic, says he intends to take to Cabinet a paper to officially declare 2020 as the year to make a significant dent in the non-communicable disease (NCD) epidemic in Barbados.

Bostic said that this is one of the initiatives slated for next year to address a challenge which he described as “our Hurricane Dorian… except that Hurricane Dorian was a one-off event, devastating as it was, but this one is one that is going to be with us for a long time to come”.

He said that Barbados is currently losing the NCD battle, and it is a fight that the country could not afford to lose.

“All must be involved in this effort.”

— Barbados’ Health and Wellness Minister

He said there is a need for a different approach, one that would embrace everyone, “from individuals to families, communities, churches.”

“All must be involved in this effort, and when I say to you that this is a serious, serious battle, I really want you to understand this,” he said.

In collaboration with the 2020 We Gatherin’ Committee, a parish will be targeted each month from January to December and a comprehensive initiative implemented “to drive home the message of NCD prevention”.

The Health and Wellness Minister said there were new plans to take the message of NCD prevention into communities and that health professionals could no longer wait for people to come into polyclinics seeking information.