Non Communicable Diseases - What the heck are they?

Unless you have been under a rock during the past few weeks, you would have heard the term Non Communicable Disease (NCD) floating around. It’s been the topic of conversation since the Ministry of Health alongside the National Baking Company, Jamaica National, National Health Fund and RG Group launched Jamaica Moves - a direct call to action to well, simply put, #BeatNCDs.

While many people may not be familiar with the big fancy word, the truth is each of you reading this knows at least one person who has suffered from an NCD such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke and cancer. NCDs are hurting the very core of what makes our island so great - our people. In 2014, it was reported that the 4 out of 5 causes of deaths amongst Jamaicans were attributed to an NCD, and in 2016 the government reportedly spent $15.9 billion treating citizens who suffer from one. So ask yourself - Why haven’t Jamaicans taken more individual responsibility to reduce their risk of developing an NCD? Doesn’t everyone want to have more moments, more memories and well... more life?

Here are 5 facts you should know as ‘Jamaica Moves’ away from NCDs.

1. Non Communicable Diseases, primarily cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes are responsible for about 79% of the recorded deaths in Jamaica.

2. Non Communicable Diseases affect more women than men in Jamaica. However, globally the rate is almost equal.

3. Non Communicable Diseases not only affect the quality of life of an individual but have a high economic burden on the individual and their family. The average Jamaican household can spend up to $55,000 a month treating an NCD.

4. Non Communicable Diseases are directly linked to risk factors such as insufficient physical activity, obesity, harmful use of alcohol and use of tobacco.

5. Non Communicable Diseases are often called ‘Lifestyle Diseases’ and therefore can be prevented by the individual choices we make. According to the World Health Organization, at least 80% of all heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes would be prevented if we eliminated the risk factors.

Now with all this knowledge, don’t you think NOW is the best time to join the movement? Visit

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