|Chairman of the National Non-Communicable Diseases Commission, Professor Trevor Hassell, with Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joy St. John. (FP)??|
The Ministry of Health has launched another initiative to remind Barbadians that ingesting high levels of salt can be deadly, and to urge them to reduce their salt consumption.
It is in the form of a jingle, which was created by calypsonian Patrick "Salt" Bellamy, and is expected to hit the airwaves shortly.?? The launch took place today during a press conference in the Ministry’s Conference Room, in the Frank Walcott Building on Culloden Road.
During his presentation entitled National Nutrition Intervention and Improvement Programme to Reduce Heart Disease, Stroke and Diabetes – Salt Reduction Campaign, Chairman of the National Non-Communicable Diseases Commission, Professor Trevor Hassell, reiterated that salt was the major cause of hypertension, commonly called high blood pressure, and expressed his concern about the large number of Barbadians that had been diagnosed as hypertensive.
"Hypertension or high blood pressure is a tremendous problem here in Barbados as…some 54,000 persons suffer with [the illness].?? Despite this fact…only 30 per cent of them are well controlled… This is a particular source of concern because here in Barbados if you go through our drug formulary you will see…40 different types of medication for the treatment of hypertension and yet only 30 per cent of hypertensive patients are well controlled.?? The further concern is that some 45 per cent of all heart disease [recorded] is on the basis of uncontrolled blood pressure," he explained.
In urging Barbadians to reduce their salt intake and eat healthier foods, Professor Hassell also revealed the top 10 foods which are sources of salt in Barbados as determined by a pilot study carried out by the Chronic Non-Communicable Disease Centre.?? These include: chicken soup, rotis, salt bread, coconut bread, fish and macaroni pie.????
Other initiatives carried out by the Commission to encourage Barbadians to pay more attention to maintaining a healthier lifestyle include the production of a booklet entitled Battling Salt – the Hidden Enemy; public service announcements; workshops; the production of a health and nutrition guide for schools; the development of the Get Healthy Barbados series; and information distributed on such social networks as Facebook.