KINGSTON – Jamaican Health Minister Christopher Tufton has warned of the growing level of premature deaths from chronic diseases, The Observer newspaper reported today.
Tufton said four noncommunicable diseases account for about 70 percent of deaths in this Caribbean nation, with 35 percent of deaths in patients under 70 years of age.
The Minister attended the World Health Assembly in the Swiss city of Geneva, where he called for increased support for the fight against chronic diseases in Jamaica and the rest of the nations of the Caribbean.
He urged other governments to promote healthy lifestyle practices that include increased physical activity and adequate nutrition, such as Jamaica Moves campaign, presented in April by the Ministry of Health.
More than 150,000 Jamaicans suffer from diabetes and other chronic diseases, largely associated with the high degree of obesity reported on the island, he said.
The rate of overweight among Jamaican adults soared from a 45 percent prevalence in 2002 to 60 percent in 2016, according to data released by health authorities.
Tufton cited a survey conducted by the Pan American Health Organization in four Caribbean countries, which found that 30 percent of children between 11 and 13 years of age are obese.–BERNAMA-NNN-PRENSA LATINA