Health and Wellness Minister Molwyn Joseph said he is deeply concerned about the recent increase in Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Antigua and Barbuda, in particular, Diabetes, Hypertension and chronic Kidney diseases.
Valarie Williams, NCD, coordinator in the ministry of health, made the disclosure during an OBSERVER AM interview on Monday. However, health officials have been unable to provide statistics to support the claim.
Minister Joseph said he is concerned that people are ignoring the various health messages being promoted by ministry officials.
“We need to get more people taking responsibility for their own health. The lack of exercise, the consumption of the wrong foods, especially sugary beverages, salts and fat, are the things that are shortening our lifespan,” Joseph said.
According to the minister, technicians in the ministry have embarked on a very aggressive programme of trying to get information out to the public to encourage people to change their lifestyle.
During the interview on Monday, Williams also spoke about an increase in the obesity rate in the country and the setting up of a proposed policy to address the problem.
“One of the things that we are looking at right now is making sure that we have an obesity policy in place. We have already done some groundwork, in terms of the research that will be required,” Williams said.