Why are non-communicable diseases so important to know about?

This summer I spent a few days on holiday in South Wales. Two things stood out. The first was the amazing beauty of the coastline. The second was the incredible percentage of holiday makers who were overweight.

This short blog is about what, “in the trade” we know as non-communicable diseases (NCDs). What are those? Mainly overweight, raised blood pressure, diabetes and raised cholesterol. But read on, the story for each of us personally may not be as bad as you think.

It need never have happened.

The first I knew about Geoff was when I was called to the Himalayan hospital, near where I was living. I found a man desperately short of breath and failing to respond to any treatment. His friends filled me in. Geoff had been determined to see the Himalayas. He never did. He had not told his agency about his poor health. And no one had apparently told him that going to a higher altitude would put him at risk.

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