In the Western hemisphere, chronic diseases have severely impacted the Caribbean region and according to a report from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) stated that “the Caribbean has the highest death rates from heart disease and among the countries in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), heart disease ranks as the leading cause of death. Other conditions such as cancer, stroke, diabetes, and HIV are among the other leading causes of death.
Caribbean nations across the region have responded by launching a number of initiatives to improve the quality of life and to improve health outcomes. A recent report identified the impact of government policies aimed at improving sanitation, nutrition, and primary health care conditions to improve the health status of Caribbean people. The report credited the implementation of effective public health initiatives and strategies for the dramatic reduction in infant mortality rates. However, in a recent report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed major problems with the delivery of quality healthcare services globally and across all member states in the Caribbean. It stated that there are serious errors in diagnosis and medications, inappropriate or unnecessary treatment, inadequate or unsafe clinical facilities or practices to mention a few. These issues were found in both private and public health facilities. This should not have come as a surprise as government health facilities are always underfunded and understaffed and often lack basic medical equipment or maintenance of equipment to provide even the most basic services. Overall, quality is severely impacted resulting in infections patients acquire and often die in public hospitals. Read More