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TALKBACK: NCDs verdict no surprise to some

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

TALKBACK: NCDs verdict no surprise to some

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DESPITE ASSURANCES from Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George that there was no cause for alarm about the recent sudden deaths, conspiracy theorists and the doubters were out in full on social media.

George said some of the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like heart attack, stroke, brain haemorrhage, clotting in the lungs and acute arrhythmia were the causes of death, as they were “poorly controlled, undiagnosed or untreated”.

He added that 24 people had collapsed and died in the period January to June 16 this year compared to 21 last year, and urged residents to get medical checks and live healthier lives.

Here are some readers’ reactions.

Joycelyn Carter: For most Barbadians, even here in North America, everything is gas that could be cured with a dose of ginger tea. Regular check-ups are essential to good health. Eating healthily with some exercise is paramount. Blaming everyone and everything tells me even with the most recent deaths, that the situation is still not getting home to some. The body and its vital organs are like a nice car – it needs to be fine-tuned every now and then if you want it to last and be in good working condition.

THOR: This was obvious. The only real change is that everything, including death and grief, is broadcast on social media, so it’s all more immediate and thus more impactful.

Daniela Gomez: That is how you put rumours and gossip to rest or stop the rumours from starting; you tell the truth. Let it be a lesson learned by Government.

Dr Paula Estwick: These diagnoses do not surprise me. I see very young people with NCDs every day. Most of the time these are diagnosed when the person comes to the office for a non-related health issue. When I do school medicals, it is alarming the number of children and teenagers with early signs of diabetes and hypertension. Find a good doctor who you trust and get a yearly check-up, especially when you have a family history of NCDs.

Darren Garrett: So after calling the Ministry of Health to look into these deaths, they present their findings and people can’t accept it.

Brathwaite Vashti: A blood clot or pulmonary embolism gives subtle warnings which people tend to ignore. I had a friend who died suddenly a few months ago; he was having shortness of breath and coughing for a few days. Rather than go to the doctor, he went to a rum shop and there he died.

Michele Antoinette: So is this the NCDs season for dropping dead? Dig deeper for the common link and let me know what it is. In the meantime, I’m sipping my green tea.

Celeste Jackman: Condolences to the families, but I appreciate knowing what happened. A definite wake-up call to get serious about health, myself included. May they rest in peace.


 • Sherrylyn Toppin is The Nation’s Online Editor.