Data from the Ministry of Health shows that Cardiovascular Disease, commonly known as ‘stroke’ is the leading cause of death in Dominica, Health Minister, Dr. Kenneth Darroux has said.

He said that the Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) and others such as Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart Disease, Stroke and Cancer are having major implication on health delivery services, the workforce and the island’s economic standing.

“Data from the Ministry’s’ Health Information Unit shows that between 2011 to 2015 Cerebrovascular Disease, commonly referred to as stroke is the leading cause of death,” he said in a speech to observe Caribbean Wellness Month last Saturday. “Followed by Hypertensive Disease referred to as High blood pressure, with Diabetes Mellitus ranks third. For the period, 2013 to 2017 more females were diagnosed with Diabetes, almost 2 to 1. For the period 2016/2017, more males had amputations than females, with the age group ranging from 55 to 59 years and 70 plus.”

He stated that NCDs have surpassed communicable diseases as Dominica’s dominant health problem.

“Factors such as obesity, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, smoking, exposure to tobacco smoke, the harmful use of alcohol, poor management of stressful life events and absence or inadequate public policy are some of the main risk factors that contribute to these diseases,” Darroux stated.

He said the data is of tremendous concern to his ministry.

“We will continue to place emphasis on the need for each and every one to take responsibility for their health and continue to implement measures focuses on preventive as well as curative and rehabilitative,” he noted. “Recognizing the threat posed by NCDs, in the Declaration of Port of Spain, CARICOM Heads of Government outlined key strategies to prevent, control and reduce NCDs through the life course. Since the inaugural celebration, Dominica has fulfilled its commitment, using the event to provide an opportunity to increase the awareness of NCDs’ burden in Dominica.”