a civil society alliance for combatting chronic disease in the caribbean

Healthy Caribbean Coalition - Battling the hidden enemy - National Commission For Chronic Non Communicable Diseases

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Battling the hidden enemy

Each year, thousands of Barbadians are robbed of good health, and even life, by a handful of diseases that have become chronic – deeply embedded – in our society.

But these are not diseases passed through human contact, such as HIV/AIDS, influenza, or some other virus. They are Chronic Non Communicable Diseases (CNCDs), such as heart disease, stroke, some cancers, diabetes and respiratory disease.

In almost all cases, these CNCDs result from unhealthy eating, exposure to tobacco smoke, and inadequate physical activity. In essence, most cases are entirely preventable.

These behavioral risk factors – poor diet, inadequate physical activity and smoking – together with the risk conditions of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, lead to CNCDs that are now alarmingly prevalent in our population. The increasing deaths and prolonged disabilities rob us of colleagues, friends and relatives, and affect our productivity while the cost of treatment places huge burdens on our limited financial resources.

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