Though health officials continue to fight the battle known as COVID-19, the true war lies in the efforts to combat the wave of non-communicable diseases (NCD) affecting Barbadians, Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic says.
Bostic delivered remarks at an ecumenical church service to celebrate the work of the National Task Force on Wellness at the St. Matthias Anglican on Sunday.
He explained that not only was COVID-19 adversely affecting all Barbadians, but especially those currently living with an NCD.
“It is these NCDs — heart related issues, cancer, hypertension and all of the others — that still remain the leading cause of death in this country, and still remain the leading sector within health-care services that still require the greatest funding by Government. Even within the pandemic, the persons who are most vulnerable to a large extent have one or more NCDs,” he said.
Though he was pleased with the amount of civil and non-governmental organizations, which have partnered with the Ministry of Health and Wellness against this fight, Bostic notes that COVID-19 and NCDS have placed pressure on the Queen Elizabeth (QEH) Hospital resources.
“NCDs [have] not gone anywhere. Even as I speak, we have issues at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in terms of lack of bed spaces right now, because Accident and Emergency [department] has once again bottlenecked with persons returning for treatments for NCDs. So this is a very serious issue,” Bostic revealed.