Heart disease top cause of death in nation

HEALTH and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville.

HEALTH and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville.


Tribune Staff Reporter


ISCHEMIC heart disease is the number one cause of death in the country, according to Health Minister Dr Michael Darville.

Yesterday he called the situation “alarming” and a major concern.

“The leading cause of death in our country is no longer HIV,” he told Parliament. “It is ischemic heart disease that is directly related to non-communicable disease. This is a concern and my colleague for Englerston, every time she sees me, she says, ‘doctor D, you’re doing all these things, but what are you doing for non-communicable diseases?’ How are we going to get our people back on track? How are we going to prevent hypertension and diabetes that is (running) rampant wild in our country?’

“These statistics are very alarming and in this year’s budget, funding is available for behaviour modification programmes that will promote lifestyle changes to improve medical outcomes for our population. You know I have been around for some time and I could tell you that we have many people suffering from non-communicable diseases. The COVID pandemic prevented a lot of them from getting the necessary care, in some instances their medication.”

“So, it means that we have an unstable patient who needs constant care and who is not getting the care and when he or she does not get the care, they end up in the hospital. Our hospitals are bursting from the seams.”

“Primary healthcare and close monitoring of these individuals in the community helps the Ministry of Health and prevents these individuals from showing up and taking beds that are preventable if we do what we need to do in the community.

“The adequate provision of primary healthcare is the backbone of healthcare delivery services because it focuses on prevention and management of communicable and non-communicable diseases.

“The Department of Public health must no longer be left behind and will be mandated to produce medical and epidemiological data and trends of diseases that will be used to guide my ministry and our Cabinet to adjust policies in favour of our people.”

“In this year’s budget, funding is available to deploy manpower resources, improve services at our primary healthcare facilities, prevent hospital admissions and reduce morbidity and mortality. That’s the reason why I’m here.”

He also addressed the infant mortality rate earlier in his speech.

“Also, it’s important to note that the preliminary data regarding immunization coverage for infants born in 2020 imply that the COVID pandemic impacted our immunisation programme for children two months to 15 months of age. The immunisation programme across the country is back on track and in collaboration with PAHO, we have activated an immunization digital platform so that we could do a better job throughout the country in monitoring what is happening with this programme.”

“The data for the period 1995 to 2019 reveal that our infant mortality rate at that time was 12.7 percent per hundred thousand live births. Since then, the infant mortality rate, excluding the year 1999, ranged from 14 percent of 1,000 live births in 1998.

“The data for 2018 to 2019 seems to suggest and this is alarming that our infant mortality rate was somewhere between 17.5 per cent to 19.4 percent per one hundred thousand live births. This is a problem for us and we need to move quickly to address this issue.”

He also said: “The death rate among infants and children less than 14 years proves to be on the rise as well and I want to say that we have funding in this budget that we’re able to get the necessary manpower resources so that we could be able to address the situation.”


Twocent 2 months ago

Mortality rates are an alarming thing BUT…..chronic disease has a greater impact on the already overburdened, underfunded, mismanaged, and misdirected health services. The truth we all don’t really want to know is that inflammation based diseases, autoimmune diseases, are already on a curve that puts the globe in a health crisis sooner than we are being told. The numbers of people who will be dependent on care and caregivers will very soon far exceed the numbers of health workers and people fit enough to care for others !!!! Now add to this the burden of disease created by this pandemic, the especially the untested vaccine! The rise of superbugs because of the protocols and the inflammation and clotting problems that the authorities choose to deny….all this is bigger than the mortality rates we are being distracted with.


bahamianson 2 months ago

No chip, shurlock. Now, what are you going to do about it? Dr. Sands tried.to.warm people about sugar and fast food,but no one wanted to do anything about it. Diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure will destroy the country. Our parties, festivals, and social gatherings are laced with carbs, starch, sugars, fats. We need a.sugar tax, an alcohol tax, and a cigarette ax , to name a.few ?


ohdrap4 1 month, 4 weeks ago

Cigarrete is now 300% duty.
But you forgot PGC's hurricane tax.


whogothere 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Agree. But let's not put Sands on a pedestal - that idiot was hand wringing and fear mongering covid like crazy. If he was still charge we'd still be locked down and the those chronic diseases would still be rife.


ohdrap4 2 months ago

S.A.D.S. will reduce the numbers requring long term care. Within 2yrs of vaccine.


John 1 month, 4 weeks ago

Firstly yes admittedly there is a problem with heart disease, high blood pressure diabetes etc in the country. The basic diet is chicken and fries and sandwiches and fries. No fresh fruits or vegetables. Add to that chronic smoking ( of weed included) and high consumption of alcohol. There’s your train wreck. . . BUT can the great minister provide data showing the number of vaccinated people dying bfrom heart failure compared to non vaccinated.


DonAnthony 1 month, 4 weeks ago

Cardio Vascular Disease is overwhelmingly a food borne illness, caused by an unhealthy Bahamian diet. Government needs to take the lead and promote the consumption of more fruits and vegetables. Also we need a specific tax on fast foods ( raise vat on fast food to 20%) w the revenue used to mitigate the consequences that this junk food has on our health and the healthcare system.


ohdrap4 1 month, 4 weeks ago

That revenue will go in the same pit where they buried the envirinmental levies. And might be used to buy mirrors for diplomat's housing.


whogothere 1 month, 3 weeks ago


Covid over reaction in the face fundamental medical truths is just embarrassing...Can we all agree all things covid policy were a huge misstep by the political medical elite...Just drop the charade...we still have stupid emergency orders and mask mandate in this country. Embarrassing.


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