What does the public understand about NCDs? Have they heard of them? What are their experiences of them and how do they feel they touch their lives?
This was the question that Dr Anique Atherley, a Junior Research Fellow at the University of the West Indies and a group of researchers set out to answer in a quick research project focusing on short street interviews with Barbadian men and women. They captured a variety of opinions in a variety of settings around the island.
The majority of participants didn’t know the term ‘NCDs’ and it didn’t resonate for them in the least. This is a concern if the ‘NCD response’ as an umbrella title for a broad-based challenge to these illnesses is to have real traction.
However, interviewees generally knew of specific NCDs, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke, and had personal experiences of them. Most were also aware of the profound impact they are having on society, not just in terms of the burden on individuals but also increased spending on healthcare and reduced productivity.