by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Lack of medication adherence by people being treated for chronic non-communicable diseases
- Practice continues to put excessive strain on Grenada’s healthcare system
A noticeable trend especially around festive periods like Spicemas and Christmas has the Ministry of Health extremely concerned.
Their concern stems from the lack of medication adherence shown by people being treated for chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) to indulge in excessive drinking and overeating around the festive season.
Senior Medical Officer for NCDs, Dr Sonia Nixon, said this practice continues to put excessive strain on Grenada’s healthcare system.
“In many cases, what tends to happen around carnival is that people receiving treatment for chronic non-communicable diseases will not take their medication, drink excessively, not sleep, and eat a lot of oil down and salty foods. But in relation to the chronic disease, we are really concerned because a lot of people stop taking their medication and practice those unhealthy lifestyles.”
Dr Nixon said that around February after the Christmas holiday, the problem of patient influx is normally brought under control. However, this year the problem was still lingering up into May. “Normally after Christmas, we have an influx of people being admitted to hospital because they stop taking their medications and [stop] practice the things they need to do to stay well. But often by February we are good; but this year up till May we still had an issue that we couldn’t get under control.”
She stated that this problem is not only specific to the local population residing in Grenada but those visiting from other countries to enjoy the festive season.
“I am not telling people not to have a drink, but do so in moderation and remember to adhere to their medications prescribed.” Dr Nixon is also reminding people to ensure that they get sufficient rest for the season, but more importantly she is also concerned with the level of energy drink consumption in order to stay awake to attend these events.
“These energy drinks have a lot of caffeine apart from the other vitamins that stimulate you mentally. The caffeine stimulates your heart to work more just to stay up. Again, you still need to sleep for your brain to recuperate. This must be taken into consideration, especially by people with mental illness.”
Chronic non-communicable diseases are among the leading causes of death.