While the police was busy tracking down and arresting gang leaders, gang members, gun makers, drug pushers, lords and other assorted big fish, the Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, quite rightly, went to the United Nations and suggested “the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon consider the appointment of a special envoy to deal with the issue of non-communicable diseases.” Non-communicable diseases are a major killer in Trinidad and Tobago and the rest of the world, taking more lives than gangs, foreign-used car drivers and scrap iron yards. Wikipedia says “The World Health Organization (WHO) reports NCDs to be by far the leading cause of mortality in the world, representing over 60% of all deaths.” Also “the WHO’s World Health Report 2002 identified five important risk factors for non-communicable disease in the top ten leading risks to health. These are raised blood pressure, raised cholesterol, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and overweight.” Our current Minister of Health, Faud Kahn, wants to tackle MSG while the former Minister, Jerry Narace, wanted to zap sugar. Both are honorable intentions but we should take in front.
The police and regiment are risking their lives making Trinidad and Tobago a safer place, but we are celebrating the likes of McDonald’s and Wendy’s when they open their doors in Trinidad and Tobago. We complain about Mr. Big and Mr. Big Fish while chugging down doubles and washing it down with a Solo, completely ignoring the Big Killers that are more terrifying than an out-of-control Colombian drug gang, if human body count is considered, that is.
It would appear that the late Dr. Atkins got it more right than wrong, and we should read and understand the works of people like Gary Taubes, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick and Dr. Arthur Agastston just to get an understanding of the bigger and hidden picture. We have to forget what simply taste good and worry about what is good for our health. It will be no point taking guns and drugs of the streets while letting killer foods roam the country like an honorary citizen with diplomatic immunity.
- Five Non-communicable Diseases, $47 Trillion Global Burden Over Next Two Decades (medicalnewstoday.com)
- WHO targets ‘lifestyle’ killers (bbc.co.uk)
- UN summit puts global disease cost at $47 trillion by 2030 (cbsnews.com)
- Canadian leads gang crackdown in Trinidad and Tobago (cbc.ca)
- UN General Assembly opens high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases (laaska.wordpress.com)
- Killing Ourselves in Trinidad and Tobago (akalol.wordpress.com)
- DOMA: Screen all containers from Jamaica after $30 million marijuana haul (caribnewsnow.wordpress.com)
- Fire in Babylon to screen at trinidad+tobago film festival (repeatingislands.com)