The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is calling on governments in the region to invest in their health systems to meet the needs of persons living with and affected by diabetes.
CARPHA issued the call to all its member states in observance of World Diabetes Day 2022, which is being observed today, November 14. The BVI is a member state of CARPHA.
The regional agency is reminding Caribbean nationals that the high prevalence of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases were thought to exacerbate the impact of COVID
According to CARPHA, the COVID
-19 pandemic showed that countries need to improve the prevention, diagnosis and management of diseases like diabetes.
Statistics show that in the Americas, diabetes was the fourth leading cause of death and disability in 2019.
North America and the Caribbean are ranked 4th in the world, with a prevalence rate of 11 percent among adults between the ages of 20-79. CARPHA said this prevalence rate is expected to increase to some 13 percent by 2045.
In 2019, the country in the Americas with the highest death rate due to diabetes was Guyana. Several Caribbean countries were in the top 10, including Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti that placed third and fourth, respectively.
The regional agency said it provides technical support to member states to improve access to care for persons living with diabetes and minimise the impact of the disease.
In the meantime, diabetics are reminded to eat a healthy diet which includes at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day and reducing intake of fats and sugars.
Persons are also reminded to remain physically active, avoid tobacco use and maintain a normal body weight.