Central Bank Governor Concerned About Health Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic

Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Timothy N. J. Antoine has expressed concerns that there is a clear and present danger that the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating pre-existing health issues with a disproportionate and devastating effect on the poor and most vulnerable households.

In the latest ECCB blog post Food and Nutrition Security: An Essential Element of Caribbean Resilience, Governor Antoine says the income losses from the pandemic are limiting households’ ability to purchase nutritious food. In addition, it is highly likely, that these households are purchasing and consuming cheaper, less healthy alternatives to the detriment of their health, a practice which he says was already common even before the pandemic.

Governor Antoine says while the pandemic has overshadowed many health issues, it has also shed light on others, adding that the high incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) has increased the susceptibility of the population to COVID-19.

A 2020 report from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) indicates that deaths from non-communicable diseases (including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and hypertension) made up 76.8 per cent of all deaths in 2016 up from 72.7 percent in 2000. The report cites an unhealthy diet as one of the main NCD risk factors.

Read the Blog post here – Food and Nutrition Security: An Essential Element of Caribbean Resilience