a civil society alliance for combatting chronic disease in the caribbean

Healthy Caribbean Coalition - Daena Boodoo - Things I Learned About NCDs

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Daena Boodoo of Bishops Anstey High School TT & President's Youth Ambassador shares what she learnt at the recent NCD Child Conference

Things I Learned About NCDs

  • DaenaNCD is the acronym formed from Non-Communicable Diseases
  • NCDs are becoming more common in the world due to unhealthy lifestyles and lack of knowledge about the crisis.
  • Common NCDs are:
    • Diabetes
    • Hypertension
    • Obesity
  • 29% of hospital beds are occupied by diabetes patients, and that’s only one of the NCDs that are present today
  • 70% of premature deaths in the world are due to NCDs of the parents
  • Many of these NCDs begin to form at young ages. They worsen; develop overtime from lack of attention or not knowing they are there and then break out in your young adulthood/adulthood
  • These NCDs can be common in low income countries and slum communities but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist in high income countries!
  • NCDs can be influenced in children by the type of foods that they commonly eat, and most importantly, what they see their parents doing.

My Present Knowledge of NCDs…

Non-communicable Diseases are diseases that are not contagious. One NCD that I do know: Acid Reflux is another NCD that is becoming common. My father was diagnosed with it, as well as my mother. In 2012, we realised that my father seemed to be complaining about the difficulty of swallowing, and had to cough much. He felt as if there was something stuck in his throat. After going to the doctor, they declared that he had some sort of tumour that was cancerous. The cause of this was believed to be because of acid reflux; the acids in his stomach wore away his sphincter and passed up through his oesophagus. Seeing as the walls of the oesophagus were not built like that of the stomach, the cells in the oesophagus started changing in order to protect the gullet against the acid, therefore resulting in cancer. Within 3 months of being diagnosed, he passed which shows that the NCDs, though seemingly smaller can result in erupt into dangerous circumstances. Now, in my family, we have absolutely no doubts that non-communicable diseases are hazardous. The worse thing is that many young people that I know complain about acid reflux, showing that it can evolve at young ages due to unhealthy lifestyles.

What I Suggest…

Sometimes, it’s only when people are jarred, small things that don’t seem serious become important. It would be good to have small sessions up to five times a year where professionals, speak to people about NCDs and warn them to make sure that they don’t forget the threat that the NCDs possess. Another good thing would be to allow people who have experienced or are experiencing the ill effects of one or some non-communicable diseases, to speak to people as evidence that they shouldn’t allow the information to just be nice to listen to. Having constant reminders and life-examples help to push people to act against threats to safeguards themselves.

See the graphical version of Daena's experience here