JIS News

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  • “Statistics show that, in 2013, diabetes was the second leading cause of death in Jamaicans, five years old and over,” he states.
  • Data provided by the Ministry indicates, however, that approximately nine out of 10 diabetes cases diagnosed locally can be avoided through weight control, exercise, a healthy diet and smoking abstention.
  • The forum was organized by the Ministry, under the theme: ‘Reversing Diabetes: A Possibility or A Dream’, to heighten awareness about simple steps that can be taken to prevent and manage the disease.

The Ministry of Health is targeting a five percent reduction in the prevalence of diabetes and obesity among Jamaicans, by 2018, under its National Strategic and Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non Communicable Diseases.

The increased incidence of non communicable diseases (NCDs) is a worrying concern for Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, who notes that diabetes, in particular, continues to negatively impact the society.

“Statistics show that, in 2013, diabetes was the second leading cause of death in Jamaicans, five years old and over,” he states.

In highlighting its adverse effects, Dr. Tufton says, over time, diabetes “can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves, causing chronic health complications and early death.”

Data provided by the Ministry indicates, however, that approximately nine out of 10 diabetes cases diagnosed locally can be avoided through weight control, exercise, a healthy diet and smoking abstention.

Dr. Tufton’s observations were made in a speech read by the Ministry’s Director of Health Promotion and Protection, Dr. Sonia Copeland, during a public forum held at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston on Thursday, April 7, to mark World Health Day 2016.

The forum was organized by the Ministry, under the theme: ‘Reversing Diabetes: A Possibility or A Dream’, to heighten awareness about simple steps that can be taken to prevent and manage the disease.

It featured an exhibition, food sampling, screenings, and presentations by representatives of the Diabetes Association of Jamaica, and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

The forum also included a panel discussion on various management and treatment methods for diabetes.

The World Health Organization (WHO) commemorates World Health Day annually to highlight a single medical challenge that has global impact.

This year, the focus was on diabetes which affects one out of three adults in countries across the world.