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A Brief History of the BNR

World Health Organisation (WHO) projections to 2030 indicate that by 2010, the leading
global causes of death will be chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCDs) (1). Prevalence
of CNCDs generally increases with age, and four of the top 10 most rapidly ageing
nations are in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). This region now has
a greater health burden from CNCDs than infectious disease: the so-called
epidemiological transition (2). In Barbados, the transition to chronic disease has reached
epidemic proportions (source: Chief Medical Officer’s Annual Report 2002-3), with the
third-highest mortality from CNCDs in LAC and rates approaching those in the
traditional industrialised nations.

In September 2007, a Caribbean regional Heads-of-Government meeting was held in
Trinidad and Tobago. This resulted in the Port-of-Spain Declaration: “Uniting to Stop the
Epidemic of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases”, which gave the clear committment of
regional governments to combat the morbidity and mortality burden from CNCDs.


Earlier the same year in Barbados, and in response to the increasing burden of CNCDs,
the national Chronic Non-Communicable Disease Commission was created with the
remit of overseeing and supporting preventative and therapeutic strategies against
CNCDs. Through this commission, and with funding from the European Development
, the Chronic Disease Research Centre (CDRC) of The University of the West Indies
was contracted to implement and manage the Barbados National Registry for Chronic
Non-Communicable Disease (BNR): the first national, population-based, combined disease
registry in the Caribbean.


1 Mathers CD, Loncar D. Projections of global mortality and burden of disease from
2002 to 2030. PLoS Med 2006 Nov;3(11):e442. Free article at journal site

2 Caldwell JC. Population health in transition. Bull World Health Organ 2001;79(2):159-
60. Free article at journal site

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