Non-communicable diseases

What the people say about…

Racquel Shafiullah: `Yes, I know that these diseases are very serious from reading the newspaper and from just visiting the health centre in my village since they have many posters displaying information about these ailments. No one close to me is affected by any of them but I do have neighbours and friends who suffer from some of them. I think the things they eat and the lack of exercising contributes to falling victim to most of these diseases but in the case where it’s hereditary, I believe, for me as a Christian, in prayers and I think that prayers can break generation curses. Also, these persons should look at their everyday lifestyle to become healthier.’

Christina Perreira: `Yes, I’m aware that it is the number one killer. My dad is a diabetic and I have a friend who suffered a stroke. In my dad’s case, it is genetic but my friend used to consume a lot of salt, just excessively and one day he suffered a seizure and got a stroke. To monitor themselves, my dad takes his medication and is more aware of his sugar intake along with keeping a strict diet of vegetables while my friend avoids salty and oily foods. I don’t think that those persons who get these diseases genetically could avoid it but they can contain it. I think people need to be more health conscious and there should be updated health facilities in most areas so that counseling from professionals would be available.’

Menno AArnout- Diplomat: `First of all I think that the increase in non-communicable diseases is due to unhealthy lifestyles. Second of all not really documenting themselves on what it is to be healthy. My family tries to exercise and eat healthy that means we use less fat, less meat use more vegetables and also no smoking, very little drinking. Everyone should make an effort to take care of their health.’

Adolf Davis – Pastor : `Non-communicable diseases have to be the number one killer. I think a lot of the non communicable diseases have to do with people’s lifestyles. I think over the years a lot has changed in just the regular ways in which we live. Think about it thirty or forty years ago people walked as a natural way of life and worked hard as a natural way of life. Nowadays people resent hard work, farming and those things. To even get to very short distances they use vehicles. We have become a lazy people, culturally not individually so I try to keep fit and exercise and watch my diet overall and advocate the same to everyone.’

Alwin Argyle –Miner : `No I never realized that non-communicable diseases was the number one killer of persons in Guyana. I think both young and senior citizens should pay more attention to what they eat. People have the tendency to look down on persons with diseases however diabetes and hypertension have become almost a way of life of Guyanese. People need to take better care of their bodies. I believe that when Guyana represents itself at the meeting in America they should tell them ways they intend to deal with these non- communicable diseases. I know many persons with sugar and high blood pressure and I think it’s time we become more active starting from childhood.’

Dominic Park – Student: `I think a lot of persons in Guyana are obese because there is the general stereotype that if you are thin you are sick. I think generally throughout Guyana all social classes think that if you are thin you are sick. It isn’t until people leave Guyana they realize that you can be thin and healthy. Guyanese have a way of eating for satisfaction more is better and most times it’s fatty, unhealthy foods more so with the available fast food outlets. In my family no one suffers from any of these diseases thank God              but I have friends whose relatives are suffering or died with one of those. I try to be active I usually run on a regular basis and watch what I eat. The Government should implement from the school level educational ways in which people can be sensitized about Non-communicable diseases and about healthy lifestyle practices.’

Joseph Hopkinson- Craft Maker: `I do know that obesity has led to the rise in many of these Non-communicable diseases. The way we eat when we are twenty we just cannot at sixty. I think from a very young age children should be educated about healthy living. It should be a part of their school curriculum. I have many friends who suffer from these illnesses. A lot of time they are in discomfort their feet swollen this or that and always have to be going to the doctor. I try to eat healthy and walk a lot. Nowadays people don’t want to walk anymore they prefer to sit and watch TV and eat lots of fast foods. I believe we can eat everything just in moderation.‘

Tysai Seepaul – University of Guyana Student: `Yes I know that non-communicable diseases are the number one cause of deaths in Guyana and I think globally also. In the modern Guyanese society the tourism has been booming and has caused the general expansion and increase of fast food outlets and restaurants contributing to high calorific eating. As we all know fast food outlets use a lot of oils and some reuse the oils chicken and fries are fried in this. Obesity is the number one disease from this. Many others had stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and so on. My family is very active, my brother plays badminton, I play hockey and my mom also plays a sport. We try to stay active and exercise every other day balancing work and stress. I pray that the Guyanese public become conscious and implement healthy practices as part of their everyday lives’.

Sharon Hankey –  Pharmacist: `I do know of the high level UN meeting in New York this September. However I don’t think everyone is taking it as serious as they should. Many persons flood the pharmacy daily for medications for hypertension and especially diabetes. You have people coming and asking over the counter for anything for sugar as if it was just a headache. People need to take stock of their lives and try to implement healthy ways in which to live. I am sure public finance for medications for these diseases costs taxpayers a lot of money but this is Guyana, people wait until everything is out of control before they implement any precautionary measures. I go to the gym everyday but this is not about the gym because I am very careful of what I eat and drink and everyone should be also.’