World Diabetes Day

| 14/11/2013

Diabetes is one of the world’s most preventable epidemics. This year as we observe World Diabetes Day, around the globe 371 million people and their families are living with diabetes. Another 280 million are at high risk of developing the disease. If this is not alarming enough, half a billion people are expected to be living with diabetes by 2030, according to the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization.

The local perspective is also a cause for concern. The Health Services Authority (HSA) is currently treating approximately 2,000 diabetic patients. Health officials estimate that an equal number is receiving care through private practitioners. 

This is corroborated by the Chronic Disease Risk Factor Survey completed in 2012, in which 10 % of adults aged 25-64 years, reported having been diagnosed with diabetes. This amounts to 3,500 people.

There may be many others unaware that they have the disease.  I urge every adult to get diabetes checks done, as recommended by their health practitioners.

The Chronic Disease Risk Factor Survey showed that our adult population consumes an average 2.8 servings of fruits vegetables a day. This is below the minimum daily recommendation of five servings of fruit and vegetables.

Furthermore, slightly less than half of our adult population (47.9 %) engages in high levels of physical activity such as running, fast cycling and participating in competitive sports. Inactivity and improper diet are two major risk factors for the onset of diabetes.

Given the close connection between unhealthy lifestyles and type 2 diabetes, these statistics illustrate why the fight against this disease is central to the well-being of our small community.

Accordingly it is fitting that annually, every 14 November, we join the international community in raising awareness about diabetes-related issues. 

The theme of this year’s international event, “Diabetes: protect our future”, suggests how important it is that we turn the tide of diabetes to protect our future, our people and our country. 

Government realises the challenge that the community faces in motivating as many Caymanians and residents as possible to incorporate physical activity and healthy eating habits into their daily routines.

As such we are committed to supporting the primary health care initiatives underway within the Public Health Department and the Cayman Islands Diabetes Association. 

Their capacity building strategies will help our people to achieve their health goals. I particularly encourage diabetics and their families to take advantageof the upcoming diabetes education course on 27 and 28 November. 

Additionally, we will continue to work with other ministries, agencies and departments to create an environment that supports the healthy lifestyle choices. My ministry is also committed to supporting the development of workplace wellness programmes in our Islands.

It is easier than we think to get moving and the rewards are limitless.  Much of the solution to the dilemma of diabetes is within our grasp; we all have a role to play and must recognise that the time is now. 

On this World Diabetes Day, let us all “take a step for diabetes”, and help to protect the future of the Cayman Islands and the world.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Viewpoint

About the Author ()

Comments (6)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this valuable reminder that we all need to take Diabetes seriously and be aware of risk factors and preventitive measures. Your report does however completely overlook the Type 1 diabetics on Island. There are significantly fewer Type 1 Diabetics, but they are mostly children and are facing a completely different life since their diagnosis. When are their going to be intitiatives taken to help them and their families? When will insurance look at covering the costs of insulin pumps? As the mother of a Type 1 Diabetic, it gets frustrating that such little attention is paid to our children.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are overly-focused on Type 1 because of your family circumstances.  The focus must be on Type 2 because it is preventable. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ban bad food and drinks from the supermarket and fast food stores.

    If the government would do that, then it shows REAL commitment to the well being of its citizens.


    • Anonymous says:

      The Government cannot ban bad foods and drinks from- but we can all stop buying these items then the supermarkets will stop bringing them in.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Cut. Paste. Dump on Viewpoints.  Someone has an easy job.