JIS News

Jamaica is on its way to transforming diabetes care management through greater emphasis on patient self monitoring, a key component of care under the Regional Diabetes Care Project.
The project is being conducted against the backdrop of Pan American Health Organisation’s Regional Strategic Plan for Non-communicable Diseases and the Caribbean’s commitment to the Port of Spain Declaration to halt the epidemic of chronic non-communicable diseases.
Medical Epidemiologist in the Chronic Diseases and Injuries Unit of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Tamu Davidson Sadler, said the nature of the disease and its growing prevalence in Jamaica, point to the need for greater patient awareness and self monitoring in order to better manage the condition.
“Diabetes is a very debilitating disease, which, if not properly controlled, can lead to blindness, renal failure, lower limb amputation and heart disease. Increased awareness on the part of patients will help them to better manage and understand the complications associated with their conditions,” Dr. Davidson Sadler said.
Under the education component of the project emphasis is also being placed on helping diabetics understand the disease and the importance of proper nutrition and increased physical activity on care outcomes.
Improving diabetes care through increased physical activity and proper nutrition also happens to be the main focus of the Regional Diabetes Care Project Second Learning Session scheduled for July 30 and 31 at the Shaw Park Hotel in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.
Targeting approximately 60 health professionals drawn from the four health regions of the Ministry of Health, the Second Learning Session will explore physical activity and nutrition as a part of the overall management of diabetes.
“There is a body of evidence that shows increased physical activity complemented by proper nutrition will help diabetics stave off diabetes-related complications and improve overall health. The Second Learning Session is organised to better equip health professionals to provide quality care through education and stronger partnership with patients, Dr. Davidson Sadler explained.
Jamaica and ten (10) other Caribbean countries earlier this year embarked on a three year regional diabetes care project to improve the quality of care for diabetics. The other countries involved in the Regional Diabetes Care Project are Antigua & Barbuda, Anguilla, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, St. Lucia and Suriname.

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