Six hundred strokes a year in Barbados say JIPA

By Pedro Forte
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, ISSA, specialist in Exercise Therapy

It is frightening and alarming and Dr. Joy St John, Chief Medical Officer in Barbados has said that Barbados records around 600 strokes a year and over five hundred heart attacks with many of these happening in women with a mortality rate far exceeding the “norm” in Norway of only seven per cent. In Barbados, the mortality rate has increased to 32 per cent in all those who have strokes.
A few months ago consultant Cardiologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Dr. Tony Harris (who was also present at the Symposium) also indicated that there were 49 strokes per month and 11 heart attacks and the increasing incidence of these attacks was alarming and disturbing to him as a professional.
St John made her remarks at the recently concluded JIPA-sponsored Neurological Rehabilitation for Stroke & Traumatic Brain Injury Symposium at the Barbados Hilton. In addition, St. John lamented the obesity statistics in Barbados saying that 65% of Barbadians were overweight or obese with many children now becoming obese and overweight adding the burden of NCDs not only to their longevity, but also to the already stretched resources of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the overall health care bill of Barbados.
Fifty eight percent women have heart disease
She indicated that 140 000 Barbadians have Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) or virtually half the population, while 25% accounted for those with hypertension. She said of these 60% many had either heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes mellitus or a number of the diseases at the same time and that 50% of the population was not exercising nor did the population eat a balanced diet which included fresh fruits and vegetables, not even our children.
St John lauded the teamwork approach of the JIPA CME symposium and said that this type of effort teamed up with public education may be able to reverse the “tidal wave” of NCDs in Barbados.
Professor Ivor Crandon supported her assertions suggesting that in Jamaica , it cost taxpayers US$320 per night to house and treat a patient while experience a 3.5 per cent budget cut to health care. He said that the situation was unsustainable and said inadequate physiotherapy and rehabilitation in the Caribbean, the occurrence of drugs and alcohol contributing to TBIs (road accidents in particular), in half of Jamaica’s patients were worrying signs. Crandon went on to illustrate how TBIs and stroke could be reduced through preventative measures as well as public education, while reducing the number of road accidents which contributed significantly to TBIs in Jamaica. Violence was also another issue that Jamaica (and many other countries) faces where blunt force trauma caused TBIs.
The session saw presentations from Dr. Kester Nedd, Neurorehabilitation Specialist, School of Medicine, University of Miami; Dr. Harley Moseley, Physiatrist, Dr. Toni Nicholls, PhD, Neurophsychologist, Professor Ivor Crandon, Neurosurgeon, Dr Sean Smith, Neurosurgeon, Dr Rene Best, Sports Medicine Specialist and Gina Pitts, RN and CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
The session also issued credit for continued medical education as per the Barbados Medical Councils Standards.

Leave a Comment

Security Question * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Powered by WordPress