World Diabetes Day (WDD) November 14th 2017 Address by Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Aisha Andrewin

By anguillian November 20, 2017 09:48 Updated




Fellow residents and citizens of Anguilla, World Diabetes Day is celebrated annually on November 14th. This day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes.
Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation.
This year’s theme of World Diabetes Day is Women and diabetes – Our right to a healthy future.
According to World Health, diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women globally, causing 2.1 million deaths each year. There are currently over 199 million women living with diabetes. Approximately 60 million of these women are of reproductive age. Women with diabetes have more difficulty getting pregnant and may have poor pregnancy outcomes. This results in a significantly higher risk of illness and death for both mother and child.
One in seven births is affected by gestational diabetes, a form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. Many women with gestational diabetes experience pregnancy- related complications including high blood pressure, large birth weight babies and obstructed labour. A significant number of these also go on to develop type 2 diabetes resulting in further healthcare complications and costs.
Here in Anguilla, diabetes is among the top five causes of death in females. The recently conducted STEPS survey revealed very high prevalences of unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, overweight and obesity – the main lifestyle-related risk factors for diabetes and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – in women 18 to 69 years of age.
This year’s World Diabetes Day campaign focuses on the promotion and the importance of affordable and equitable access to healthcare services for the prevention and control of diabetes.
In the words of the International Diabetes Federation
• All women with diabetes require affordable and equitable access to care and education to better manage their diabetes and improve their health outcomes.
• Pregnant women require improved access to screening, care and education to achieve positive health outcomes for mother and child.
• Women and girls are key agents in the adoption of healthy lifestyles to improve the health and wellbeing of future generations.

Anguilla is making strides in all the areas outlined through continued support and collaboration between the Ministry of Health and Social Development and other key partners such as the Health Authority of Anguilla and the Anguilla Diabetes Association:
• Diabetes medicines are included in our essential medicines list and procured at minimum cost through regional procurement mechanisms.
• The pharmacists of the Health Authority have undergone diabetes management training aimed at incorporating best practices into the management of diabetic clients and improving the provider-client interaction.
• Two successful education/self-management initiatives include the Anguilla Diabetes Association’s annual camp for persons newly diagnosed with diabetes and the Chronic Disease Patient Self–Management Programme which is run by the Ministry’s Chronic Disease Unit. The programme has completed five cohorts since its two years of inception. Women with diabetes have been among the successful participants.
• With regards to screening of pregnant women, Anguilla continues to benefit from maximum coverage of antenatal care services which includes blood glucose testing and gestational diabetes screening.
• The findings of the STEPS survey on diabetes and the other major NCDs and their risk factors will be used to guide targeted interventions in the pursuit of healthy lifestyles to improve the health and well-being of the people of Anguilla and future generations.
The support of the general public continues to be fundamental to any successes in this fight. This week we encourage you to participate in the activities being spearheaded by the Anguilla Diabetes Association in recognition of this very important health issue.

Thank you

(Published without editing by The Anguillian newspaper.)

By anguillian November 20, 2017 09:48 Updated


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