PM Skerrit encourages local produce consumption to combat non-communicable diseases  

Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit has again addressed the need for Dominicans to pay close attention to the issue of non-communicable diseases

PM Skerrit encourages local produce consumption to combat non-communicable diseases  
PM Skerrit encourages local produce consumption to combat non-communicable diseases  

Roseau, Dominica: Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit has again addressed the need for Dominicans to pay close attention to the issue of non-communicable diseases. He has consistently raised the issue at various forums and said that COVID-19 was not the country’s biggest health issue.

He added that when COVID came, people got scared, but this is not the biggest threat for Dominica, but chronic non-communicable diseases are the major threat. He also outlined that by growing the local produce and doing more physical work to enhance their productivity.

“We have an opportunity to reduce the prevalence of such diseases by eating what we grow and walking more exercising and we don’t know gym people always say where’s a gym where is the treadmill, we have our treadmill- the hills and valleys are our treadmills, ”said the prime minister.

Prime Minister Skerrit said that there is a financial burden on the state to provide care for people with NCD as the management of the diseases in Dominica costs about 45% of the health budget just to treat people.

However, the cost is not to prevent people from getting sick but to treat those who have already contracted those ailments, the work is being done to try to minimize this. PM Skerrit further mentioned that the diseases have a great impact on the family when the main breadwinner is affected by non-communicable diseases which could be catastrophic.

“It is not difficult for us to understand what’s going to happen to the family and so we have to do two things in Dominica. Firstly, we have to reduce the prevalence of non-communicable diseases and secondly, we have to ensure that we’re managing it properly that we’re taking the medication that we eating the right food, and that we put in adequate exercise to manage it.”

The issue of non-communicable diseases remains a global issue and the Prime Minister vows to speak on it wherever possible. He said that every moment, he gets the opportunity in Dominica and even in the region, because it’s not a Dominica’s alone situation, it is global issue.

He called it an existential threat and said that this is the threat to the economic sustainability, survival, because it makes people sick, and more sick means, lower productivity, and lower productivity means, less revenue which will ultimately impact economy.

“With reduced revenue government, the country will not be able to do much with the deaths due to the diseases, which will reduce population.”

Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit stressed upon the local produce and asserted that in Dominica, there is a need to grow population in order to increase consumption, so they need to encourage tourism to consume the local offerings and products which will enhance the revenue and the revenue will lead to the better government.