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  • Writer's pictureSERHA

SERHA Encourages Lifestyle Practices to Beat NCDs and Injuries

KINGSTON, Jamaica. Friday, May 17, 2024: The South East Regional Health Authority

(SERHA) is encouraging Jamaicans to engage in lifestyle practices to beat non-

communicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries. NCDs can often be prevented or reduced by

eating healthily, maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough sleep, doing regular exercise,

drinking alcohol in moderation, and not smoking. Wearing seat belts when driving and

wearing helmets and other Protective gear when riding can help prevent serious injuries. The

public is also urged to coexist in harmony in order to stop more trauma and injuries.

According to the Ministry of Health and Wellness, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and

injuries are a major public health burden in Jamaica, and are the leading cause of death. In

2015, an estimated seven out of ten Jamaicans died from the four major NCDs: cancer,

cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, and chronic lower respiratory disease. Many

of these deaths, as well as lifelong disability and compromised quality of life, could have

been prevented.

The Non-Communicable Disease and Injury Prevention Unit at the Ministry of Health and

Wellness reported that injuries (violence-related injuries, road traffic crashes, suicide

attempts) also pose a burden on the health care system. A cost of care analysis done in 2017

by the Violence Prevention Alliance, the University Hospital of the West Indies, and other

stakeholders showed the financial cost of injuries to the health care system to be JMD12.6

billion per year. Approximately 28,000 cases of injury were reported in 2019 through the

Jamaica Injury Surveillance System. Violence and injuries are also preventable.

In 2023, 836 patients were brought to the Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) due to motor vehicle accidents, 211 for serious stab wounds, and 424 for gunshot wounds, according to Dr. Hugh Wong, Head of the A&E Department at KPH.

SERHA is calling on the public to take control of their own-wellbeing to live a longer and healthier life.

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