Prime Minister Mia Mottley says there is a heightened need for greater education in preventing Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
Mottley said teaching the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as early as at the primary school level would make a significant difference in reducing NCDs and other chronic health challenges currently putting a burden on the public’s purse.
She said there is a need for the introduction of a national diet.
The Prime Minister raised this point during the opening of the Swindon House Medical Centre, at #2 Lodge Hill, St Michael, Saturday evening, where she also indicated that Barbadians learn from examples.
“About 18 months ago while we were doing the Estimates, I saw an explosion on the amount of money that was being spent on dialysis in this country. And after questioning a number of people in the meeting, we determined that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) needed an outreach programme that was community-based, and that allowed it to focus, because Bajans learn by example and not by instruction, to focus on the 2000 most vulnerable patients in this country to chronic Non-Communicable Diseases,” Mottley said.
“The presence of COVID doesn’t take away from that battle, but in fact, it reinforces the necessity for us to be successful in that battle. And if we are successful in that battle, we are not only preparing them to better fight off the effects of the pandemic, if they test positive for it. But when the pandemic is behind us we are dealing with the issue of wellness.”
She said, any doubt, regarding the importance that must be placed on the well-being of citizens, has been further reinforced by the prevalence of the pandemic, which has the unique characteristics of having those persons with serious health challenges suffer more and be at greater risk than any other category of people.
“In this country, we have spoken for too long about the fact that we have had a high incidence of diabetes, and that we may well even be the amputee capital of the world. And we reflect on these things, almost as if we just accept them as a given, rather than recognize that it is within the power of each and every one of us to determine how well we are, and how well we can remain.”
The Prime Minister said it was worrying that too many young people are eating poorly constantly, and noted that because of this reality, it is not surprising that the incidence of type 2 diabetes is high among the youth.
The alarming statistics of Barbadians who have NCDs coupled with the increasing burden on the public health-care system hastens the need for medical professionals to widen their scope and reach to stem the tide.
It is against this background that the directors of Cam Inc, birthed the idea of Swindon House, a state-of-the-art Wellness Centre located in the “new city”, the heart of the Warrens Commercial area.
The centre will bring together the internal medicine, diabetes, endocrinology practice of Dr Carlisle Goddard formerly located in George Street, along with other medical specialists.
Speaking about his journey, Dr Goddard, a diabetes specialist said the centre was purposely designed to take a holistic approach to allow for the treatment of persons who are not only ill but also those seeking balance.
“So we stand here proudly tonight, to open Swindon House to pursue an excellence stay, whereby, when one comes here, it is not about ailments, it is not about physical disabilities, it is about how we seek and attain that centre and that wellness when we leave this place,” Dr Goddard said.
The new facility has also been designed to be a cashless centre to make it more efficient and easier for persons to do business there, particularly those living overseas to make payments for their loved ones receiving treatment at the location. (AH)