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World Diabetes Day is observed annually on November 14. It was started in 1991 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in response to concerns about the growing threat to health posed by diabetes. It is the primary global awareness campaign focusing on diabetes.

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) lists diabetes as the third leading cause of death among males and females in Jamaica. In addition, a World Bank study notes that its prevalence increased by 9.7 per cent between the years 2000 and 2008.

Diabetes is a disease in which a person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate (Type I), or because the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin (Type II), or both. Risk factors for developing this non-communicable disease (NDC) include poor diet, obesity, and lack of physical activity.

The Ministry of Health has launched several initiatives, such as the “Jamaica Moves” programme and preventative action plans, aimed at helping Jamaicans to decrease their risk of developing diabetes and other NDCs. The Ministry also provides information to help those already afflicted to properly manage the disease. Some recommended steps are regular exercise, a balanced diet, taking prescribed medications, and having regular health checks.

For more information, please contact the:

Ministry of Health
10-16 Grenada Way
Kingston 5
Tel: 876-633-8172 or 876-633-7771

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