World’s highest rate of lifestyle diseases is in Caribbean (Lead)

August 5th, 2010 - 4:58 pm ICT by IANS  

By Paras Ramoutar
Port-of-Spain, Aug 5 (IANS) Latin America and the Caribbean have the highest rates of non-communicable and lifestyle diseases in the world and this has put an economic burden on the countries, an expert has said.

The high level of occurrence of lifestyle diseases has put a burden on the economy of small and developing states, Dyer Narinesingh, acting principal of the University of the West Indies said Wednesday.

He was speaking at an international seminar and exhibition at the Medical Campus of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.

The seminar was organised by the Indian High Commission and the Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Cultural Co-operation in collaboration with the University of the West Indies. It was supported by the department of Ayush, Government of India.

Trinidad and Tobago has the potential to develop ayurvedic treatment for these diseases, leading experts said.

Minister of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education, Fazal Karim said alternative medicine is no stranger to Trinidad and Tobago.

“The possibility of finding a balance between the two types of medicines - alternative and conventional - can be achieved, but it is not expected that you will embrace all the principles or concepts of alternative medicine but you should try to understand it,” he said.

Indian High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago, Malay Mishra said ayurveda is part of the Vedic system of “looking at life in a holistic manner”.

“Ayurveda looks after the body, soul and emotions to create a well-balanced and well-rounded individual.”

There were around 7,000 practitioners of ayurveda and over 3,000 hospitals which employ ayurvedic technologies in India.

Trinidad and Tobago has a population of 1.3 million people with 44 percent being people of Indian origin, whose forefathers came from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar between 1845 and 1917.

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