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Antigua and Barbuda is seeking innovative approaches to manage better Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) that have been responsible for the untimely deaths of thousands of its residents over the years.
Cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes are the leading causes of premature deaths in the country.
The government has been in talks with China to explore ways to effectively address these diseases and improve the healthcare outcomes for its citizens.
These efforts are geared towards creating a healthier population and reducing the burden of NCDs on the healthcare system.
Health Minister Molwyn Joseph was among members of a delegation that returned from a week-long meeting in China on Monday
He said the visit provided an exciting opportunity for the minister to witness China’s scientific and technological advancements in healthcare.
During a visit to a hospital, Sir Molwyn was introduced to equipment that not only diagnoses patients with diabetes at the end stage of the disease but also forecasts the disease.
This technology is still unavailable in Antigua and Barbuda and could revolutionize the country’s healthcare system.
China’s approach to healthcare is different than Antigua and Barbuda’s, as they focus on developing ways to prevent sickness by early detection. They have sophisticated equipment that enables early detection of diseases like cancer and diabetes.
Sir Molwyn was thrilled to learn about a new technology that would make dealing with cancer like dealing with a vaccine.
The Chinese are working on a vaccine that prevents cancer and gives the body the ability to fight it.
The Chinese officials informed him that this technology would be ready for human trials in about two years. Antigua and Barbuda would be the first in line to get access to this new technology for the Caribbean region once it is ready for general use.
Apart from healthcare, the visit also focused on climate resilience. The Chinese are developing technologies to harness solar power for everyday use in a way that is both affordable and accessible.
With the assistance of the Chinese, Antigua and Barbuda will see an acceleration in moving towards renewable energy.