Jamaica News: Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, is encouraging residents of Hanover to adopt healthy lifestyle practices to prevent the risks of obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Speaking at the Ministry of Health ‘Taking Responsibility Road Tour’, at the Walter Hall Anglican Parish Church in Lucea, Hanover, on February 21, Dr. Tufton said the Ministry is at the forefront in improving the health and wellness profile of the parish, through additional resources to include infrastructure and personnel.
He said that curative healthcare needs to work in unison with preventative health practices and this is where the people of Hanover come in, as they need to take a new approach to overcome obesity and lifestyle diseases for a healthier life.
“One in two Jamaicans, according to the recent health and lifestyle survey, are obese and it’s a disease that develops other critical life-threatening complications,” said Dr. Tufton.
He also noted that one in three Jamaicans is hypertensive, and one in eight Jamaicans is diabetic.
“The reality is that as a country, we are, by virtue of our actions, eating and drinking ourselves sick. It should start with all of us now taking responsibility and understanding our health status,” the Minister said.
Dr. Tufton pointed out that the Ministry will be implementing a number of critical plans this year to bolster the current growing health services in the parish. “This will include personnel and building infrastructure,” he noted.
The Minister explained that the initiative is about “how we get people to change habits”.
“It is a psychological sort of behavioural change and, in reality, is the core approach to how we enhance people’s lives, and that is one of the reasons why we established a food industry task force. The task force will look at a couple of things, such as the consumption of sugars, salts, fats, alcohol and tobacco as important policy positions to create greater awareness and to let consumers know what they are eating and the consequences of overconsumption,” he added.
The event also featured addresses by a number of health practitioners, including Dr. Alfred Dawes, Senior Medical Officer at the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital in Westmoreland.