The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is concerned about the impact of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) on Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries amid increased cases in the region.
One of the most common NCDs is diabetes.
“In the CARICOM region, we are in a battle with the scourge of this NCD disease burden because we are what we eat,” explained Dr. Joy St. John, Executive Director of CARPHA.
And St. John disclosed that the epidemiology had not improved.
In addition, the CARPHA official noted that several sister islands have the classification as having the highest NCD prevalence in the Americas.
“As NCDs are the leading causes of premature mortality, morbidity, and disability in the Caribbean region, there is also a high economic burden and the countries are less productive,” St. John stated.
“Our children are overweight, obese, and primed to develop diabetes and hypertension earlier than previous populations. Even worse, we watched as COVID-19 seemed to target those among us with diabetes and hypertension for severe illness and death,” she observed.
The CARPHA Executive Director spoke at a June 13, 2023, webinar to launch and advocate for the standardised use of the Diabetes Nutritional Management Toolkit for the Caribbean.
It was developed to support the dissemination of the CARPHA Guidelines for the Management of Diabetes in Primary Care in the Caribbean.
CARPHA launched the toolkit as part of its observance of Caribbean Nutrition Awareness Month 2023.