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  • Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says the Ministry will continue to do its part in educating parents to ensure that their children practise healthy lifestyle habits.
  • Senator Reid said statistics provided by the Ministry of Health show a very disturbing trend as it relates to the impact diabetes is having on the society.
  • The Minister said there is also a growing concern that a lot of Jamaicans are still not aware of the facts surrounding diabetes and how best to deal with the illness.

Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says the Ministry will continue to do its part in educating parents to ensure that their children practise healthy lifestyle habits.

Addressing the 23rd Annual International Diabetes Outreach Conference at the Jewels Runaway Beach and Golf Resort, St. Ann, on April 20, Senator Reid said the Ministry is very concerned as it relates to students’ nutrition and health, as the number of Jamaicans dying from complications caused by diabetes is of great concern to the Government.

Senator Reid said statistics provided by the Ministry of Health show a very disturbing trend as it relates to the impact diabetes is having on the society.

“Statistics show that diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in Jamaica. They also show that approximately nine out of 10 cases diagnosed locally can be avoided through weight control, exercise, a healthy diet, and smoking abstention,” he noted.

The Minister said there is also a growing concern that a lot of Jamaicans are still not aware of the facts surrounding diabetes and how best to deal with the illness.

“Too many persons who are diagnosed with diabetes fail to manage the disease properly, and the inevitable consequences follow,” he added.

“This is not a government problem. It is an individual and, by extension, a national problem,” the Minister said.

He noted that information from the Ministry of Health shows that one of the biggest hurdles for people with diabetes is lifestyle changes. “Too many diabetics just don’t eat, take medication and follow up with their doctors as they should to prevent complications,” he pointed out.

Senator Reid said the conference is timely, as Jamaica is witnessing an increase in non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and that diabetes, in particular, continues to have a negative impact on the society.