Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) and injuries are a major public health problem in Jamaica, and are the leading cause of death over the past 30 years. In 2015, an estimated seven out of ten Jamaicans died from the four major NCDs, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic lower respiratory disease [Ministry of Health 2018]. Many of these deaths, as well as life-long disability and compromised quality of life could have been prevented.
Now the government is seeking assistance from the International Development bank (IDB) from a loan of US$ 100 million to develop and strengthen health policies that target NCD risk factors and treatment. These policies are intended to improve the quality of health services and improve access to public health systems, with an emphasis on chronic disease management.