Government begins search for health data

| 15/06/2011

(CNS): As part of the battle for a healthier country local health officials have begun the preparation for a nationwide health survey. The Ministry of Health’s Non-communicable Disease Risk Factor Survey Coordinating Committee completed a two-day planning session recently, to come up with a plan to collect baseline data on health issues in the Cayman Islands. “Relevant, current and localized statistics are key ingredients in successful national prevention and treatment programmes, and this committee is about closing the information gap for us,” said the health minister, Mark Scotland.

Spearheaded by the ministry of health in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organisation the survey will give public health workers the data they need to understand non-communicable diseases in the local population. Ten years ago, CARICOM estimated that diabetes alone cost Latin America and the Caribbean a staggering US$65 billion. However, those costs are now set to dramatically grow: World Health Organisation predictions suggest that by 2020, metabolic diseases will account for sixty percent of illnesses.

“The work enables us to focus our resources for targeted interventions……if we do nothing, heart disease, cancers and diabetes – will spiral out of control,” Scotland added. “Cayman already some six percent of our population suffers from diabetes and twelve percent have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. These are serious figures and we simply must address these issues as a matter of urgency.”

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